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Bullying: Watch for the prodders not the punchers

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HC Online | 06 Feb 2012, 12:00 AM Agree 0
Extreme cases of bullying may make the 6pm news, but the bigger problem in reality is the majority of bullying that happens on a much more subtle level. And the bad news for HR is that it’s much harder to detect, act upon and eradicate.
  • Bernie Althofer | 07 Feb 2012, 05:14 PM Agree 0
    This is an issue that has no black or white answer as has been discussed in a number of forums. Despite the publication of numerous texts and articles, it seems that there needs to be more discussion to gain clarity.

    Some individuals perceive that the actions they are being subjected to are bullying, when in reality it is reasonable management. However, no two people seem to be able to agree on this and in some cases it comes down to "I said, they said".

    I agree that plan is need. However, given the possibility that at some stage of an individual's employment they will be involved either directly or indirectly as the target/victim, the alleged bully or even as a witness/bystander, a plan on how to respond is essential.

    It is important to know about some of the basics - e.g. whether or not a policy exists and if so, where it can be located; what other policies, procedures or even a Code of Conduct relates to bullying; what are the reporting requirements; what are the confidentiality issues that need to be considered; what are the resolution options; what is the impact of doing nothing? and so the list can go on.

    Mitigating risk and reducing potential fallout relies on good planning. However, it is surprising that giving the apparent rise of workplace bullying and harassment claims, it is still possible to broach the topic of planning, and find that they are non-existent.
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