Battling the Workplace Bully

5 Sep

With the variety of personalities on display in the workplace, the office can sometimes seem more like the playgrounds of your childhood. Unfortunately, just like in the schoolyard, there’s the occasional bully, and it’s up to the human resource department to make sure a mean coworker doesn’t terrorize the rest of the staff.

Most workplaces already have policies against sexual harassment and discrimination, why not bullying? Consider a drafting a social contract, of sorts, that encourages respectful interactions among colleagues.

The challenge in combating bullying is detecting it. Try to create an open-door environment where workers can report behavior they feel is intimidating. Keep a record of all complaints in your human resource management system, and if a particular employee seems to be cause a lot of trouble, pull him or her in for a chat to get their side.

Ask whether they notice the same tension that others have flagged as problematic. Some bullying behavior is easy to catch, including verbal abuse or threats of physical harm. Occasionally, bullying can be a miscommunication between individuals or a case of one worker being more sensitive than another.

What are the best ways to handle a co-worker with a domineering personality?

Let us know on Twitter by mentioning us in your tweet, @SageHRMS.

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