Workplace bullying is a huge issue for many businesses and this is why Aspire Cambridge has chosen to put together a series of blog posts to help employers look out for bullying in the workplace. In our blog series we have looked at the signs to look out for, how to tackle workplace bullying and in this blog post, how to spot bullying in your workplace.
There is currently no definition of bullying in UK law, which can make it a tricky subject for an employer to create rules around. In some cases it may not be obvious that bullying is taking place and therefore it can be hard to resolve.
However there are types of behaviour that we would define as being bullying in their nature and these are what we look at in this blog post. By being aware of these behaviours it will be easier to spot bullying in your workplace.
Things such as unwelcome remarks, unwanted physical contact, insults, isolation or exclusion from projects or team outings, persistent and unwarranted criticism, stetting impossible deadlines and attempts at sexual coercion are all signs of workplace bullying.
ACAS defines bullying and harassment as behaviour that makes an employee or worker feel either intimidated, degraded, humiliated or offended. However ACAS also admits that it is not always obvious when bullying is taking place in a workplace.
We would recommend that any behaviour falling under the above categories is dealt with quickly and efficiently. Whether it is classed as bullying by you, the bully or the person being bullied, it needs to be deal with accordingly and professionally.
It is a good idea to have a clear policy that set out boundaries for interaction. This should also include what is classed as good and bad behaviour. You need to ensure that the policy harnesses a culture of tolerance, dignity and respect.
It is important to note that CIPD research shows that bullied staff members are three times less likely to raise a complaint about workplace bullying. This is often due to a fear of feeling embarrassed, worsening relationships or threatening their position within the business.
If you are unsure of how to spot workplace bullying in your business or you need help creating a policy on workplace bullying please contact our professional HR Consultants directly on 01223 855440.