How to stop bullying in the workplace
Gary Namie, consultant for The Work Doctor® and director of the Workplace Bullying Institute, recommends organizations create a bullying prevention policy rather than going after individual bullies. Namie conducted a Workplace Bullying Workshop last week at Western Iowa Tech (WIT) Community College.
From the Work Doctor site
Employers traditionally create policies to prohibit negative conduct when laws compel them. A good policy to prevent bullying is the cornerstone of a civil workplace. It sends the right message that destructive interpersonal misconduct is no way to run a successful, sustainable business.
Three components to stop bullying
a. An internal, loophole-free policy to specifically address workplace bullying.
b. Enforcement procedures to implement the policy and provide personal and organizational accountability. The policy needs to be applicable to everyone in the organization.
c. A plan to train and educate all employees, supervisors and administrators.
Don’t hire bullies
Robert Dunker, president of WIT, attended most of the daylong session in Sioux City. He changed his schedule that day to come to the afternoon session to hear Namie address how to keep bullies out of the workplace. Dunker asked how to identify bullies in the hiring process. Namie answered you seek the opinions of those who worked under a candidate, not from his or her current place of employment, but from the employer before that. People in that organization will be candid. Current employees will not reveal a bully in their midst.
The United States has not passed a law against workplace bullying
Namie believes laws are needed. Laws will compel employers to correct and prevent mistreatment rather than minimize the problem as ‘personality clashes’. Bullying closely resembles domestic violence in that both were shrouded in silence and the victim is often thought to be at fault. Domestic violence has emerged from that shroud.
Other countries have legislation against bullying. As of Oct. 1, Saskatchewan is the second Canadian province with legislation banning bullying in the workplace. Quebec also bans those activities. Sweden implemented the first national law in 1993; Great Britain followed in 1997 and France in 2002. Two Australian states also have laws.
A Week dedicated to Courage, Support, Inspiration and Peace in the American Workplace
Oct. 14-20 is Freedom from Bullies Week, a project of the Workplace Bullying Institute headquartered in Bellingham, Washington. http://bullyinginstitute.org/studies9.html