It is essential for you, as a small business owner, to determine the different types of bullying that exist in your workplace, in order to take effective measures against it.
SupportBiz presents some simple tips to control bullying at the workplace.
Establish clear rules
Establish a clear set of rules about acceptable behaviour at the workplace, and communicate the same to all your employees. Outline clearly what kind of behaviour will not be tolerated, and what action will be taken against offenders.
Accept complaints in writing
Accept complaints about workplace bullying only in writing. This will ensure that the complainant does not exaggerate in his/her claims, and that the management has a written record of what exactly happened at all times.
Prompt response to complaints
Ensure that you do not ignore any complaints about workplace bullying as too trivial. All written complaints must be promptly acted upon. Upon receipt of such a complaint, discuss with other senior management members about the problem, and determine the course of action that should be taken. Deal with the complaints in a professional manner, without letting your personal judgement cloud your final decision.
Give the offender a chance
Make sure that you listen to both sides – that of the complainant and the offender – whenever you receive a complaint about workplace bullying. Give the offender a fair chance to explain himself/herself. If the offense is not too severe, you could consider giving him/her a couple of warnings before taking serious action.
You could consider calling in a workplace bullying expert or counsellor to talk to your employees, and put in place a behavioural code of conduct. Such experts can discuss with the employees about any bullying problems they might be facing, and help in resolving the same. You could also organise regular workshops to make your employees more aware of their rights against bullying.
Periodic evaluation of employees
It is crucial to conduct an evaluation of all your employees at periodic intervals of time. Ask each employee to objectively evaluate the people whom he/she works with on a daily person, both at levels above and below him/her. Bullying issues will definitely crop up in such evaluations, if any exist at your workplace.