There are a number of unfortunate conditions which helps allow workplace bullying to occur, many of which employers aren’t even aware that they are creating. Consider the following when evaluating how much at risk your workplace may be for bullying:
1. “It’s How We Do Things Around Here”
Many office managers use their office’s current “work culture” as a way to try and motivate new employees to pick up the pace and “get in line”, but this form of management makes those employees feel belittled and bullied. The number one step to making employees feel respected is to take their opinions and feelings into account. Don’t try to shove them into some “ideal” about how “things” should be done around the office. Keep your ears open and listen to what your employees have to say. Your job is to then decide which qualities fit into your current culture, and how to use those to bring them fully on board with your work.
2. Pitting Employees Against One Another
Employers often think that a “healthy competition” between employees will increase production, when in fact it increases the chance of workplace bullying to occur. Many employees (and employers) may begin to “harmlessly” taunt and heckle one another in the “spirit of competition”, but then it can quickly turn into a bullying situation where one feels intimidated and harassed.
3. Not Taking Action
An employer’s response to workplace bullying can have a huge impact on how often it occurs, as well as when it occurs. Employees are seeking a reaction from an employer whenever any comment or action is made, so if nothing is done when a bullying incident takes place, the other employees then deem that behaviour as an acceptable part of their workplace culture.