While the campaign targets schools in particular, bullying is not solely a plague of the playground. An alarming number of employees report being targeted, harassed, or generally mistreated in the workplace.
A YouGov poll for the TUC in 2015 showed that 29% of workers feel they have been the victim of workplace bullying. And a later survey carried out by Manchester University says that a quarter of victims have experience bullying in the last five years.
PROTECT YOUR PEOPLE
We thought we would take the opportunity to talk about the importance of businesses treating any claim of bullying and victimisation from their staff very seriously.
The primary reason, which should really go without saying, is that it is the right thing to do.
Whenever you hear of someone close to you being treated poorly, you automatically want them to be able to act, and for those in positions of power to do their part in putting an end to it. Make sure when YOU are in the position of power, you act accordingly.
Protecting your colleagues is the most important thing. Be sure to tell them about any and all support that is available to them from the business.
Acting in this way also brings with it several benefits. The first is that it can help to instil a sense of fairness in the workplace – your team will see that they have a voice that will be heard and a point of view that will be rightly considered with an open mind. Listening to all sides of a situation, including witnesses, is essential.
Seeing a colleague’s claim be taken seriously could also help give others the confidence to speak up. Many people suffer in silence, which can have a negative effect on both their mental and physical health. Therefore, we must strive to create a positive culture in the workplace. One that is receptive to the needs of individuals and has safe channels they can go through to help resolve any issues – an important point given that 72% of bullying victims from the TUC poll said that the behaviour had come from their managers.
A serious approach can also help to deter unacceptable actions in the future. When blind eyes are turned, or complaints fall on deaf ears, the door is left open for bullying or aggressive behaviour to flourish.
To fit with this year’s campaign, WABT have chosen LISTEN as our #OneKindWord.
Instead of a word to say to your colleagues, it is a reminder to employers of the first step in helping to solve conflict in the workplace.
If you are experiencing bullying at work, or have been witness to it, then these resources may be of help:
If you are an employer who is unsure of the best course of action to take to tackle bullying, or what legal requirements you face: