As HR Consultants we see our fair share of different workplace issues, but one that we notice is often left unaddressed is Upward Bullying.
What is Upward Bullying?
This is when an employee or group of employees bully their superior. This can come in many forms such as a worker refusing to cooperate, acting in an offensive manner or showing hostility toward a particular superior. It’s not a pretty sight, and it can create a toxic work environment that spreads faster than the winter flu!
Upward Bullying IS a big deal and it cannot be left unaddressed. It can not only affect the mental wellbeing of the individual, but it will create a significant effect on team morale, productivity and staff retention. The last thing anyone needs is to be left on a sinking ship with a bunch of resentful employees.
The way to tackle this is head on. Nip it in the bud before it becomes an issue within your workplace!
Some strategies to do this include:
- Encouraging an open culture: Create a working environment where open communication and respectful conversations are the norm. Employees will be more likely to voice their concerns in a constructive manner without feeling the need to resort to bullying tactics.
- Set the tone: Lead by example to your employees by treating everyone with respect and equality. If you practice what you preach everyone else is able to follow suit!
- Having a Strong Policy: We cannot stress enough the importance a solid anti-bullying policy that clearly outlines what constitutes as bullying behaviour, regardless of position. Employees need to be aware of the implications of not complying with the policy.
- Take all incidents seriously: If an incident does occur, a proper investigation needs to be conducted to show your workers that you do take such offenses seriously. If your findings show any signs of Upward Bullying, it needs to be taken just as seriously as any other bullying situation, with all parties receiving the same implications for not complying with your workplace’s policies.
- Take up our training: HR training on conflict resolution, effective communication and personality profiling. These skills are vital to fostering a happier, calmer work environment. Employees need to be able to navigate their disagreements without using petty tactics to do so.
In the end, it’s all about nurturing a respectful work environment where your employees can thrive. It takes time, effort, and consistent action. But fear not, we’re here to help! We can take the pressure off your shoulders by offering training on the above and creating a strong policy that outlines all of the steps you would need to take in order to deal with these effectively. To talk to one of our HR Consultants, give us a call on 1300 923 000.
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