What happens… if one of my employees is being bullied?

If one of your employees comes to you and tells you they feel they’re being bullied at work, there is action you can take.

Firstly, be sensitive to the situation as it may not have been easy for them to speak to you. Everyone has the right not to be bullied or harassed at work, but it can be difficult for some people to speak up and not suffer in silence.

Start by having an informal talk with the employee about their concerns. Encourage them to describe examples of the alleged bullying and what outcome they’d like to see. Remember that the alleged bully may not even know that they’re distressing someone else.

Hopefully, the situation can be resolved informally. If the perpetrator is made aware of their unacceptable behaviour, they may feel compelled to stop without the need to follow a formal process. As an employer, you should bring it up in the way of a confidential, non-confrontational meeting.

If the informal approach is inappropriate, or the bullying continues, it’s time to follow your company’s bullying and harassment procedure.

This should begin with an investigation. The complainant will have to submit a formal complaint in writing outlining the precise details of the bullying. The perpetrator should then be informed in writing that an allegation has been made about them.

As an employer, you’ll have to try to gain the facts surrounding the allegation. Invite both the complainant and perpetrator to a meeting so they can put forward their cases, and in the case of the perpetrator defend themselves.

If you believe bullying has taken place, it’s time to start the disciplinary procedure against the bully.

At Deminos we have two free guides that will prove useful in such a situation. Click the links now to be taken to their download pages.

How do I prevent bullying and harassment?

How do I carry out a disciplinary investigation?

Author David Ralph

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