Bullying and harassment policies that send a clear message

Peninsula Team

November 30 2015

Bullying anywhere isn’t acceptable – so how do you take a zero-tolerance stance that stands? We’d all like to think that bullying stops once you leave the school playground behind, but with 20,000 calls to Acas from workers experiencing this unacceptable behaviour, it’s clearly a problem that needs combating. But how do you develop and implement a policy that makes your position and the repercussions clear? It’s not negotiable: bullying simply can’t be tolerated – everyone has the right to feel safe and respected in their workplace, so you need to send a clear message that any type of harassment will be dealt with seriously. Our tips for creating and implementing an effective bullying policy
  1. Create a non-exhaustive list of examples of unacceptable behaviour
  2. Create a procedure for dealing with complaints of a bullying nature, and clearly document the repercussions that will follow.
  3. Distribute the policy to all employees – make this part of your induction process, so that new staff know your expectations from the outset.
  4. Take any complaint of bullying seriously, whether made by the target of the behaviour, or a third party with concerns about a team member Investigate all complaints promptly.
  5. Remain neutral while the investigation takes place, and be sympathetic to both parties
If you conclude that bullying has occurred, you will need to assess the circumstances and decide on the appropriate disciplinary action, which could range from a verbal or written warning to dismissal in very severe cases Taking a hard line when it come to bullying and treating all complaints consistently will instil confidence and morale – making for a more secure and enjoyable workplace for everyone. It’s also worth training managers in the identification of bullying and harassment, so that problems can be dealt with quickly, in line with the fantastic policy you’ve just developed. For further clarification, please call our Advice Service on 0800 028 2420.          

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