Building an Anti-Bullying Culture
Posted on 14th November 2023 at 15:14
It is Anti-Bullying Week, which is ran by the Anti-Bullying Alliance, the campaign aims to shine a spotlight on bullying and empower individuals to take action against bullying during the year.
While the primary focus is on children, workplace bullying remains a prevalent issue across various industries. Despite increased attention in recent years, many incidents of workplace bullying go unnoticed.
Bullying and harassment can manifest in various forms, ranging from obvious intimidation, such as physical violence, to more subtle behaviours like inappropriate jokes, banter, or even ignoring someone. Regardless of the form or severity, it is crucial for employers to be vigilant and have clear protocols to address such incidents.
The CIPD’s ‘Managing conflict in the modern workplace’ research found that a quarter of UK employees thought that challenging issues like bullying and harassment are swept under the carpet in their organisation.
To proactively address this issue and cultivate a culture that takes bullying and harassment seriously, organisations can:
Implement robust policies and procedures. It’s important to make sure that your policies and procedures are up to date, compliant and clear. They should set out clearly the standards expected of employees and the process for people to raise concerns when those standards aren’t met. However, it’s not enough to have a robust policy that no-one has read. Make sure that what you have written down is reflected in the real life working practices of the organisation.
Support your managers. Managers play a critical role in spotting and handling issues around workplace bullying and harassment. You need to train your managers and give them the tools to be able to shape a strong anti-bullying culture.
Listen hard. The concept that ‘you can only act on a concern if someone raises a formal complaint’ is a myth. As an organisation you should be making sure that you have the right touchpoints to get early warning signals if something is going wrong. These might include staff engagement surveys, pulse surveys, exit interviews, or monthly 1-2-1’s. Far too often we hear of organisations that undertake exit interviews only for the data to get filed away rather than being used in a meaningful way.
Show leadership. Leadership should set the tone for the organisation’s culture. Leaders should talk openly about the values of the organisation, expectations, and behaviours. They should also be proactive in spotting and calling out things that are not ok.
Supporting a positive culture is the centre of Growth HR Model.
Tagged as: #culture #peopleculture #positiveworkplace
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