Whether you an organizational leader, a supervisor or an employee, you should be playing an active role in preventing bullying in the workplace. Bullying exists in a working environment only if the culture tolerates it. The following are several strategies that you can take to prevent workplace bullying.
Know What Bullying Looks Like
The first step to stopping bullying in the workplace is to know what bullying looks like. In a professional setting, bullying includes any mistreatment from verbal humiliation, unnecessary criticism, and isolation from activities. Other apparent signs would include physical and verbal abuse.
Look Out For Potential Targets
In a recent survey, it was revealed that the most targeted type of person for workplace bullies could be described as kind, giving, and altruistic. Those who are well-liked, do their job well, and aren’t aggressive are prime targets for bullies. In your workplace environment, become observant and aware when someone has a sudden shift in behavior.
Promote a Postive Workplace Culture
From the beginning, set expectations of how your employees should interact with one another. Your leadership will set the precedent of how your other employees should behave. Take the time to review your current policies procedures. See that the policies and producers address respecting one another and provide clear directions on how to report bullying.
When you hear direct complaints or even rumors of bullying, take action. The longer bullying occurs without consequences, the more damage that can occur to the victim. If you do hold higher authority, make sure to follow-through on progressive discipline when necessary.
Provide Training to Everyone
Polices will mean little if your supervisors don’t enforce them. The supervisors in your office need and should be able to identify bullying, investigate complaints, all while maintaining discretion. All employees regardless of their ranking should undergo the proper training to prevent, recognize, and respond to incidents of incivility, aggression, and bullying in their workplaces.
Enforce a Zero-Tolerance Environment
In one survey, 72% of targets of workplace bullying noted that their employer rationalized and even dismissed the act of bullying. By not bringing attention to the issue, it makes it harder for employees to feel safe or happy in their jobs.
Despite your position in a company, it is essential to remember that everyone is responsible for creating and maintaining a safe working environment. Preventing and stopping bullying in the workplace starts with you.