Bullying happens far more often in the workplace than what many think.
This mainly has to do with one common misconception, namely that when a person thinks of bullying, they think of something which is fairly obvious and apparent. Examples here include screaming, blatant rudeness, threats and belittlements.
This is known as 'overt' bullying.
Now that type of bullying may be common on a children's playground, but the fact of the matter is that there is a different type of bullying in the workplace. One which could have far more severe consequences than overt bullying.
And if you don't take steps to curb it, you could face hefty fines!
Keep reading to see what I'm talking about...
One of the worst types of bullying in the workplace
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I'm talking about 'covert' bullying
It's a form of bullying which is less obvious and apparent, and so it would only make sense for it to be used more often in the workplace.
And one of the most common ways that this form of bullying manifests itself is within imbalanced power relationships. In other words, it's committed from a position of power or even perceived power.
So, for example, a manager who doesn't necessarily like a particular worker might, irrespective of reason:
· Make tight and unreasonable deadlines;
· Pick on small issues just to create a scene;
· Provide overbearing supervision and criticism;
· Carry out unjustified micro management; or
· Deliberately set up the employee for failure through, for example, withholding very important information or by 'failing to receive' vital information from the employee concerned.
What should you do?
You should take necessary steps to curb this type of bullying in the workplace.
Don't consider 'rank' when dealing with issues like this, because fairness and objectivity are what counts.
Now, covert bullying is not obvious. SO you should encourage your employees to be confident in reporting such behaviour to you.
Encourage all your employees to report covert bullying in the workplace, EVEN if it means reporting a manager, and let them know that you'll NOT take sides.
If an employee resigns because of covert bullying by a manager in the workplace, then she could take up the issue at the
CCMA for constructive dismissal.
And if the employee had already made the issue known to you, and you didn't investigate and deal with it effectively, you could end up in a lot of trouble.
Remember that you have a legal obligation to provide your employees with a safe working environment free from bullying and harassment. So ensure that bullying in the workplace is prevented wherever you can do so. Otherwise you could be standing on the verge of fines and possibly even jail time.
To learn more on bullying in the workplace, page over to chapter B 03
in your Practical Guide to Human Resources Management handbook.
Alternatively, click here…