Leadership In the Workplace and Cultural Integrity

Leadership is based on inspiration, not domination; on cooperation, not intimidation.

Bullying can never last long in a workplace infused with strong leadership and cultural integrity.

Many studies indicate that an employee’s relationship with their immediate supervisor plays a significant role in their decision to stay at or leave a job. Employee engagement is important because people don’t leave a job, they leave a manager who lacks leadership skills.

Managers who demonstrate excellent leadership and foster a respectful workplace attract top talent and save the company time and money by reducing turnover among unhappy staff. However, even with competitive salaries, job satisfaction, and opportunities for advancement, skilled employees often leave if they must work under an abusive manager.

Want to identify hidden pockets of bullying in your organisation? Closely examine your staff retention rates, particularly following a management change.

A workplace bully is the ultimate killer of staff retention and a deterrent to team members. In workplaces lacking important leadership skills (particularly those that ignore bullying), a harmful cycle frequently emerges:

  • A highly skilled employee leaves as a direct result of bullying.
  • A replacement then requires training to reach a similar level.
  • The bully gets even more frustrated, leading to more heavy-handed behaviour.

Employees experiencing emotional distress are more likely to make mistakes, take more leaves due to stress, and face a higher risk of accidents at work. Associate Professor Bill Sutton from Stanford University found that bullying can reduce workplace productivity by up to 40%.

Think about that figure for a moment. Can your business afford that kind of epic loss?

Why Organisations Need Strong Leadership And Cultural Integrity

Bullies are opportunists. They thrive in environments where strong leadership qualities are absent.

The problematic ‘my way or the highway’ style of leadership can lead to major issues, preventing employees from performing at their best. How can they, when ongoing harassment has left them angry, distracted, afraid and emotionally confused?

Business leaders who ignore bullying, fail to recognise it, or delay addressing it effectively, contribute to the problem.

So how can you become a more effective anti-bullying leader in your workplace?

  • Set goals and clear bullying definitions so there’s no confusion about boundaries
  • Make worker health, well-being and happiness a priority
  • Provide a simple system for employees to report bullying incidents
  • Recognise that the most effective way to stamp out bullying is by changing the culture of an organisation
  • Have specific, well-defined consequences for bullying in your company policy—and have the courage to enforce them
  • Promote a trusting environment where employees feel safe to express concerns without fear of retaliation, especially since reporting bullying can sometimes worsen the situation for the victim.
  • Commit to taking action against inappropriate behaviour immediately—delays only help the bully
  • Adopt a zero-tolerance policy to bullying of any kind in the long term
What Kind Of Workplace Culture Are You Creating As A Leader?

In every workplace, good leaders establish the organisational culture, whether positively or negatively.

Unlike a manager who dictates, a strong & successful leader offers support and guidance, enabling employees to reach their full potential during his leadership role. The most productive employees feel valued, listened to and respected.

A true leader is skilled at observing, listening, appreciating others, and understanding the emotional atmosphere they create at work. They must be self-aware and focused. A workplace leader is either part of the bullying problem or part of the solution.

An effective leader’s management style should spark discussion, not stifle it. It should include others in decision-making processes and respect alternative viewpoints and solve problems.

Leadership isn’t about domination, threats or coercion. It’s more about empathy, negotiation, and compromise. Effective leadership requires relationship building, empathy, negotiation, and compromise, which can significantly enhance team performance by making members feel supported.

Bullying thrives in a climate where great leadership falters. Ignoring workplace bullying shows a lack of leadership and, from a cost-benefit perspective, there is no benefit to allowing a persistent bully to remain unchallenged.

Bullyology® is passionate about raising awareness on the effects of bullying and helping people break the silence. If you would like to book us for a training course or speaking event, please get in touch.

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