Workplace Bullying and the Role of HR
Workplace bullying has become an epidemic posing serious threat to businesses worldwide. Whilst it is important for employees to stand against bullying practices by reporting any such incidents at the earliest, it is equally imperative for the management to have stringent policies in place to prevent such occurrences. When we talk about management, human resource department is the first thing to strike in our heads. In fact, HR department is the first point of contact for the victims of bullying at workplace and thus, they ought to deal with the same in a judicious manner. Bullying is one amongst the major causative factors that can blow up work culture for a business.
The article talks about the role of HR in workplace bullying.
How can HR help?
According to HR experts and leaders, there is no one sure-shot approach or trick to tackle or prevent workplace bullying. Nevertheless, here are few promising strategies that can be put to use to deal with bullying at workplaces:
1. Changes in company culture
2. Strategies and programs to train leaders and managers on how to deal with bullying
3. Support services for victims of bullying
4. Policies and protocols to educate, counsel and discipline bullies
As mentioned above, HR is the first point of contact for complaints pertaining to bullying at workplaces thereby, it is important for the human resource department to handle the entire situation and administer necessary practices and resources in place.
Employees on the other hand ought to be provided with clear and transparent policies mentioning both unacceptable as well as acceptable behaviours at workplace. This calls for training and educating upper management about various forms of bullying and ways to tackle these.
In the event of a complaint, the HR besides taking necessary steps to probe and resolve the issue, should provide the victim with the required assistance to cope up with the harassment probably some stress management would help alongside offering access to counselling.
As for the perpetrator, it is critical for the HR and managers to intervene and respond promptly to the situation.
With proper coaching, it is quite possible to help abrasive employees overcome their personal restrictions or blind spots if they are willing to embrace the fact that they ought to change. Nevertheless, when this fails to change the behaviour of that person, it is important for the management to hold the perpetrator accountable and discipline him/her according to company’s policies. Yes, this might include laying off that employee.
To avert such untoward events from occurring, it is advisable for the management to be proactive and have clear HR policies in place to safeguard the employees from bullying. Last but not the least, if any of your employee approaches with a complaint of bullying, pay heed carefully, take the matter seriously and probe the matter promptly and thoroughly. This is because ignoring or procrastinating would only add fuel to the underlying fire.