Bullying in the workplace

May 17, 2017

Many employers turn a blind eye to bullying. However, bulling in the workplace must be dealt with. If it is overlooked, employers run the risk of losing key staff members and productivity will be affected.
The biggest problem with bullying and harassment is that employers often do very little about it.
Many employees do not report bullying
Why do employees not report bullying? Firstly, employees do not like to speak openly about it. Secondly, it is often senior people doing the bullying, so nobody points this out and so nobody takes action.
What is more…bullies are often manipulative and charming to the more senior managers. That is why it goes unnoticed by management for so long. Luckily this can be avoided. The reality is that once you expose the bullying, it will often stop. Having the spotlight on them is the most effective tool for starting to deal with bullies.
Methods to deal with bullying
#1: Have an anti-bullying policy or organisational statement that defines what would not be tolerated in the workplace.
#2: Have clear procedures for victims of harassment to lay complaints when they feel they are victims of bullying or harassment.
#3: Conduct an awareness campaign that defines what is considered to be workplace bullying. It must also outline how incidences of bullying will be dealt with.
#4: Have an open environment by giving employees the chance to raise concerns about behaviour and bullying in the workplace.
#5: Take immediate action to investigate claims of bullying or other forms of harassment.
#6: Include bullying and other forms of harassment in the Code of Conduct. In addition, make employees aware of the sanctions that would be imposed on bullies if you discipline them.
#7: Create mentoring opportunities for managers to create awareness of the impact of their actions.
#8: Include counselling in the Employee Assistance Programmes to support employees who have been targets of workplace bullying.
Do not turn a blind eye on bullying. Use these methods to deal with it before it affects the company and employees.

The content does not constitute legal advice, are not intended to be a substitute for legal advice and should not be relied upon as such. Kindly contact us on info@labourman.co.za or 021 556 1075 to speak to one of our consultants.


Wallace Albertyn

Wallace Albertyn is a Senior Associate and Legal Advisor at LabourMan Consultants.

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