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Teach your employees these 8 guidelines to protect themselves against workplace bullying

by , 08 February 2016
Many may view 'bullying' as only forming a part of the social dynamics of children. But the fact of the matter is that bullying in the workplace, among adult employees, happens every single day.

Bullying in the workplace refers to a pattern of harmful behaviour, often flowing down from a position of power (or perceived power). For example, it can refer to tactics used by managers against juniors or peers in the workplace.

Now, workplace bullying should be taken VERY seriously. After all, our law protects against such behaviour through the Protection from Harassment Act 17.

So, in order to protect your employees against bullying in the workplace, teach them these 8 guidelines in lodging a complaint against a bully...

*********Legal obligation********

You have an obligation to protect your employee's personal information.

You have to protect your employees' data and personal information. This is according to the Protection of Personal Information Act (POPI).

If the employee's personal data is leaked and it lands in the wrong hands, you could face a fine of up to R10 million or a prison sentence.

But, you can avoid this…Here's how

Guideline#1: Be rational

If you're a target of bullying, you should describe what happened in a rational and logical manner so as to be taken seriously.

You should write out your story, ahead of time, starting with the critical incident, followed by a narrative that includes 3-5 bullying incidents.

Bring an outline of your story into the meeting where you'll discuss the incidents.
Guideline#2: Express emotions appropriately

Don't allow an emotionally-charged description of the incidents be mistaken for deep-seeded emotional problems.

When telling the stories, use a calm voice with controlled body language. This can be done by pausing and taking breaths in between.

DON'T cry, shake your head or raise your voice.

Guideline#3: Provide consistent details

You should provide vivid details of the incidents, and those details must be consistent.

If possible, document each incident as they occur, otherwise use your memory and a calendar to assist you in piecing together the approximate dates of the incidents.

Ask any witnesses to the bullying incidents assist you with providing any details.

*Do you want to learn what the other 5 useful guidelines are to lodging a complaint against a bully in the workplace, then page over to chapter B03: Bullying in the Workplace in your Practical Guide to Human Resources Management handbook today, otherwise click here to get your hands on it today!

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