The BBC has reported that one in three employees feel they have been bullied in the workplace, and a further one in five have witnessed a colleague being bullied.
Bullying is a serious problem for businesses which can lead to loss of morale, decreased motivation and reduced productivity, as well as having a negative impact on the health and wellbeing of the victim.
Businesses must therefore put measures in place to ensure that bullying is not tolerated in the workplace, and understand the crucial role of the manager in shaping corporate culture.
Role of the manager
Often, managers may not be aware that bullying is even taking place, highlighting the importance of developing open, communicative relationships which enable employees to feel confident about approaching managers with any bullying-related concerns.
On other occasions, managers may be aware of bullying taking place, but not feel confident in handling the situation – especially where it involves confronting a known bully.
However, the way that a manager responds to these situations goes a long way in establishing the culture of a business, and avoiding addressing these issues can cause problems to continue, and possibly escalate – with serious consequences to the business, as well as the victims of bullying.
Acting immediately to address the situation may be challenging for a manager, but will ultimately earn them the respect and trust of their employees, ensure the bully is aware of the issue, and hopefully lead to a positive resolution.
Our Manager's Guide to Handling Difficult Conversations eLearning course can help managers to deal with these situations with confidence, a key factor in establishing a bully-free workplace culture.