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Stop verbal harassment it its tracks by implementing an anti-harassment policy today!

by , 18 April 2013
The boxing industry isn't one where crucial business lessons are learned. But it does show the importance of handling 'trash talk' or any form of verbal abuse. Because in the boxing ring, verbal abuse often spurs on the contenders, making them more aggressive. That's why boxer Robert Guerrero is now making headlines for trash talking ahead of his clash with Floyd Mayweather on 4 May. Here's what to do if verbal abuse is on the rise in your workplace.

 
Floyd Mayweather Jr is regarded as one of boxing's best trash-talkers, says ESPN.
 
It's the name of the game in boxing.
 
But if one of your employees is making comments that upset your other employees, you'll need to take action.
 
Because any form of harassment could land you in the Labour Court if you haven't put a harassment policy in place and described exactly what counts as harassment to your employees.
 
And 80% of those who are bullied or harassed in the workplace walk away and find another job, says Pattyinglishms.
 
What counts as verbal harassment?
 
Verbal forms of harassment include outright swearing and name calling, as well as any unwelcome innuendos, suggestions and hints, sex-related jokes, insults or unwelcome graphic comments about a person's body that're either made in their presence or directed toward them, says Janine Nieuwoudt in The Practical Guide to Human Resources Management
 
But it doesn't end there.
 
Because unwelcome and inappropriate enquiries about a person's sex life also count as verbal harassment.
 
Simply out, it's the unwelcome nature of the action that turns 'attention' into harassment, explains Nieuwoudt.
 
That's why you need to make sure your employees understand exactly what counts as verbal harassment, as they may not realise they're crossing a line and upsetting their coworkers.
 
You can stop verbal abuse by implementing a firm anti-harassment policy
 
Mention that all employees, job applicants and other persons who have dealings with the business have the right to be treated with dignity, that any form of harassment in the workplace won't be permitted; and mention that persons who've been subjected to harassment in the workplace have a right to raise a grievance, adds Nieuwoudt.
 
Then make sure all your employees sign that they've read the policy or attended a short training session on it.
 
If harassment continues, confront the verbal abuse bullies in private. 
 
Then reiterate the company's zero-tolerance policy on harassment and inform the employee that you have documented reports based on grievances raised and that this first meeting is a warning, says SmallBusinessChron.
 
That could be all it takes to stop the verbal abuse in its tracks.
 

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