Bullying and Harassment in the Workplace
What is Bullying and Harassment?
Eliminating bullying and harassment in the workplace is essential for a healthy work environment. When is a worker considered to be bullied and harassed? It is when someone in the workplace says or does something towards another that is meant to discourage or upset them. It may be verbal, physical, emotional, or even cyber bullying. It can affect an employee’s quality of work or worse, it might lead to heated arguments among employees, anxiety, depression, or suicidal thoughts.
Bullying and harassment aren’t always blatant. For example, when there is a discussion where people are expressing their varying opinions, taunting may arise. Or someone might offer unsolicited feedback or advice and offend the other person.
On the other hand, a manager exercising his authority to correct an employee’s behavior is not considered bullying or harassment if it is a reasonable action done to achieve a positive and productive environment. This can be through disciplinary actions, adjusting of workload, evaluations and the like.
Handling Bullying and Harassment Complaints
It can take a lot of courage to report acts of bullying and harassment which is why employers must establish a policy that states how they will handle such incidents clearly. By having these policies in place, employees will feel secure and won’t feel threatened to stay quiet. An employer must be able to fully know what happened, administer an impartial response and ensure that the incident won’t happen again. Employers should create a report which includes how and when the investigation happened, the roles of everyone involved, follow-ups and documenting of the whole incident. The employers must make sure that all employees are following the regulations and are cooperating in the investigations.
It’s important to always approach people in an appropriate manner to keep a level of professionalism and respect. In doing so, bullying and harassment can be avoided altogether.
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