Workplace Answers


Anti-Bullying Programs

Anti-Bullying programs are a "must-have" at all schools, but also at all workplaces. Many people don’t realize workplace bullying is a problem in many corporate organizations. Workplace bullying generally manifests as acts or comments that are intended to humiliate, degrade, or intimidate an employee and these acts and comments come from another employee. However, these acts or comments are not always based on a protected class (race, religion, gender, etc) and thus may or may not be considered harassment.

For an organization to be serious about anti-bullying, management must be engaged and committed to creating a bullying free workplace. And before management can be committed to this cause, an anti-bullying program must be in place.

Anti-bullying programs must have a few main elements:

Education: Employees must be educated on what is and is not bullying. This should be communicated in numerous ways- via posters in common areas, verbally from management in staff meetings and through an anti-bullying training program each employee is required to participate in.
Pathways: Anti-bullying programs must include a policy with clear pathways for both employees and management if a bullying situation should occur in the workplace. An employee needs to know exactly who to go to if he or she feels bullied and must feel comfortable doing so. If a manager receives a report that an employee is being bullied, he or she must know exactly what steps should be taken to investigate and take action.

Follow-up: Once a bullying situation is handled, according to the anti-bullying policy, there must be follow-up on that situation. Whether it’s a manger who meets with the bullied employee on regular intervals to check in, or it’s a human resources employee who follows-up, a key element of an anti-bullying program is a plan on following up to make sure the bullying has stopped for good.

To genuinely show employees that the organization is a bully-free workplace, anti-bullying programs must be in place and management must understand how and when to take action in situations where an employee is being bullied.

Learn about more about the cost of bullying in the workplace from a recent webinar from expert Lynn Lieber Esq.


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