Are You Doing Your Part to Prevent Workplace Bullying?

“Everyone deserves a safe, healthy workplace.” (Workplace Bullying Institute)

October 14 – 21 is National Freedom from Workplace Bullying Week. What does that mean for employers and HR managers? From XpertHR:

““During this week… [e]mployers should demonstrate that they will take all necessary steps aimed at curbing workplace bullying and preventing an abusive workplace by creating policies aimed at preventing bullying from occurring in the workplace, providing an effective complaint procedures, responding to complaints promptly and taking corrective measures.”

Workplace bullying, which can include verbal abuse, threating and humiliating conduct, and intimidating behavior, is gaining growing recognition, even if the law hasn’t caught up. But the lack of legislation doesn’t mean businesses should ignore the problem. Law firm Miller Canfield:

“While there are currently no federal or state anti-bullying statutes prohibiting bullish behavior if it does not cross over into illegal activity such as discrimination, harassment, retaliation, assault or battery, it is still wise for employers to take steps to promote a respectful environment for all employees… Even if such conduct is not legally actionable under current federal or state law, such behavior can still be extremely detrimental to your workforce. ”

How to make sure bullying doesn’t interfere with your workplace? Three suggestions from Miller Canfield:

1. Adopt and facilitate an open door policy which allows employees to participate in the workforce in a way that makes them feel valued.

2. Develop a kudos or another type of employee recognition program which serves as an excellent way to boost employee morale.

3. Consider adopting an anti-bullying policy and follow through with effective training and enforcement mechanisms.

Have a safe (and productive) week!

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