Being a manager in a busy workplace can be a bit like being a detective. In order to get a feel for the ‘emotional climate’, you have to listen, observe, ask the right questions of your employees and ‘read between the lines’ – especially when it comes to the issue of bullying.
Quite often, a bullying target will have a legitimate fear of retaliation that keeps them quiet about their victimisation. In that case, circumstantial evidence may be all there is to go on. There can be any number of unknown restraints preventing a victim from raising their concerns, so managers must closely monitor the overall ‘vibe’ to detect when negativity starts to creep in.
Having a solid anti-bullying policy in place is a good starting point for every business – but how efficiently is that policy being enforced and how much anti-bullying training has been provided to managers and employees? If your staff don’t feel empowered to address negative behaviours, bullying can quickly gain a foothold. Being a good manager means taking ownership of the workplace climate and ensuring that everyone is on the same zero-tolerance page when it comes to bullying. It’s not enough to know that ‘something should be done’ – you must also know exactly what to do.
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