Managers Tend To Ignore Bullying To The Detriment of Their Organizations, and Their Staff

white and blackbull on brown soil

Seven actionable things managers can do when they realize that bullying is going on on their watch

  1. A manager needs to bring plain old civility to the area which he controls and bring a peaceful working environment to an otherwise stress filled workplace. This encourages all of the employees that working well together should be one of the top company priorities. (Ed. Be a role model in interactions with peers and staff.)
  2. When an employee’s negative behavior is present at the workplace, it will negatively affect the other employee’s attitudes on the job because of the bad behavior. Document everything that is said and done by the workplace bully as you listen to the victims story and witness the actual abuses.
  3. When confronting (Ed. Perhaps the word confronting is not the best choice here, since it implies conflict, which is not necessarily the case.)the bully about what he is doing to his target, try to be understanding (up to a certain point) but firm, and make sure that the employee doing the bullying fully understands that his actions are upsetting his coworkers and disrupting their ability to do their jobs in a productive and stress free way.
  4. As a manager, you shouldn’t be afraid of discrimination types of lawsuits when confronting an employee over their disruptive, bullying behavior. By not allowing lawsuit fears to interfere with taking action and confronting the person that is doing the disrupting, the manager will once again put himself in control over their area. (Ed. In fact, it’s far more likely that someone will be sued if bullying is ignored)
  5. Be sure to bring the bullying behavior of the employee first to your human resources department. When you do confront the bullying employee, bring an HR rep with you to act as a mediator when you do have a meeting with the person.
  6. Don’t ever allow the employee/bully to re-direct the conversation back to the victim employee(s) who brought the complaint forward in the first place. The person doing the bullying needs to be totally aware that this meeting is strictly about him and his actions.
  7. Be completely up front about the bullying behaviors that you want stopped immediately. Let the employee doing the bullying know that if there is another incident after your meeting with him, that his job may be in jeopardy if an improvement in behavior is not seen immediately. Most managers will put a warning like this in writing to make sure the employee realizes just how important this is.

(Reprinted from Judith Munson with permission)

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