The Office Bully & Company Culture
What is workplace bullying? It is a persistent pattern of mistreatment from others in the workplace that causes either physical or emotional harm. It can include such tactics as verbal, nonverbal, mental or physical abuse or humiliation.
There are two types: 1) the individual who walks around putting people down and making less of their work and their value and 2) the individual who screams and yells insults and degrades another.
In the majority of cases, bullying in the workplace is reported as having been by someone who has authority over their victim. However, bullies can be peers and subordinates, which can be covert or overt. Negative effects are not limited to the targeted individuals, but to the entire group with a decline of employee morale and change in organization culture.
What is Company Culture?
It refers to the beliefs and behaviors that determine how a company’s employees and management interact and handle internal and outside business. Often company culture is implied and develops organizationally over time from the cumulative traits of the people the company hires.
A company’s culture will be reflected in its dress code, business hours, office setup, employee benefits, turnover, hiring decisions, treatment of clients, client satisfaction and every other aspect of the operations.
Managers, academics and sociologists describe the character of a company, not only through generalized beliefs and behaviors, but also through company-wide value systems, management strategies, employee communication and relations, work environment, attitude and their charismatic CEOs and upper level Management.
What can you do to create a better work place?
First and foremost, if you are experiencing any harassment of any kind, whether it is the office bully or sexual harassment, you must report it in writing. Do not simply do a verbal report or mention it to another co-worker. If it is a superior committing the act, report it to the Owner. If it is an Owner, go to the HR Dept. and your supervisor. Be very detailed in the report of exactly what occurred.
If you feel threatened, go to HR and ask to see the company policies for the organization. Find the employee handbook. As part of being HR compliant, all businesses should have an employee handbook, which will contain the written recourse in such circumstances.
The moment a situation occurs, it should be written up with specifics. If you let days or weeks go by, the details get hazy and you lose the specifics, which makes things harder to correct.
When putting it in writing, give exact details as to time, place, exactly what occurred, any witnesses. Send this by email so you have a paper trail. You are also protecting yourself as you are now documenting everything. If there is retaliation, you can show in writing all documents and seek legal assistance.
The bottom line – it takes a group to help keep the rules in place. HR is responsible for ensuring the company policies and structures are in place to allow an employee to succeed at his job by knowing the expectations from the moment the hiring is started to the entire onboarding process and the training of the employee on their duties and their expectations as an employee.
Go to www.achievestability.com for more information as to how we can help you, the business owner, reduce the risk of legal ramifications and help your company achieve stability in the work place.
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Lorianne Isaacson - Owner of Personnel Matters, Inc. where we empower employees and employers to achieve stability in the work place.
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