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Addressing Bullying in the Workplace

May 21, 2021

According to a 2019 survey, 94% of over 2,000 employees had suffered bullying in the workplace. This was a 19% increase over 2008.

Employment coach Lynne Curry lists five steps for leaders to address bullying:

  1. Be respectful to all employees.
  2. Have an anti-bullying policy or a code of conduct defining how to treat co-workers and customers with respect. Employees should be able to report bullying without fearing retaliation.
  3. Establish a viable, confidential grievance channel staffed by someone trained to recognize legitimate concerns.
  4. Intervene when anti-bullying policies aren't followed. Have an impartial investigation. Use interviews and surveys for employee feedback.
  5. Train managers and staff on how to handle bullies without becoming agressive.                                                                                                       

Besides the human costs of bullying, there are financial costs to an organization - lawsuits, increased absence and loss of reputation due to a toxic work environment. In contrast, an organization that supports its employees and encourages mutual respect will be recognized as a good place to work.