Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Bully-Proof Your Workplace Culture

Do you have a workplace culture that you’re proud of--except, that is--for a few relatively minor issues that, perhaps, ought to be addressed?

For example:

Is your organization proud of the fact that it has scarcely had any complaints brought to the attention of Human Resources in the last few years? Yet you have heard rumors, have even seen some inappropriate behaviors—though none—in your opinion have risen to the point where you believe the culture is being compromised. Nothing, anyway, that you would label bullying behavior.

Does one of your supervisors have an anger management problem? Is her temper known to suddenly flare up and then erupt into a shouting match targeted at her subordinates? No one has ever lodged a complaint against her, but recently you were in her department when you witnessed a situation that troubled you.

During a recent departmental meeting, a newly hired young woman walked to the podium where she began a presentation based on research her manager had requested. Several meeting participants were more than just inattentive; some started doodling, two shifted loudly in their chairs, and one manager actually interrupted the speaker, commenting, “This is nothing new. Can you at least speed it up?”

You’re well aware that cyber-bullying has become a pandemic problem for people everywhere and you wonder if it may be victimizing employees in your workplace despite the fact that you have a comprehensive Policy & Procedures Manual that is very clear about computer usage at work. But what about people from outside of the workplace who may be bullying your employees on line?

While you consider yourself to be a patriotic American, you’ve become distressed that there are two employees who keep American flags on their desks. They have been known to make disparaging remarks about anyone who doesn’t speak “American.” Since yours is a very pro-inclusion organization, you’re concerned about how this behavior might be viewed by others in your organization.

There’s a very senior officer you’ve heard some employees refer to as the “snake” because he has purportedly done so many unpleasant things to women in your organization. Yet you’ve never had anything but the best of relationships with him. He’s a rainmaker, a close friend of the CEO’ and, while there have been complaints made about him, he has always been cleared of any wrongdoing. You wonder about the thoroughness of the investigation looking into this matter.

If your organization has questions of this kind that may indicate a bullying situation, and you are concerned about possible consequences, please let us know and we will be pleased to comment about ways in which to deal effectively with them.

No comments:

Post a Comment