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Bullying At Work – Who Should Fix The Problem?

Just finished reading a letter from the editor to our local newspaper, complaining about workplace bullying. Managers should sit down with employees and ask them if they are having problems with bullies. It was assumed that the employees would openly admit that they were bullied. The manager would then respond by taking firm action

This is a time of no tolerance for abuse. Signs posted in businesses and workplaces warn customers and employees that raising voices or any other disrespectful behaviour will lead to swift action from management. Numerous companies across the country spent thousands of dollars and hours training their employees, as well as managers, how to recognize, investigate, and respond in an abusive manner. Bullying is only one form of workplace abuse. It is not easy to eliminate bullying in workplaces.

Managers are responsible for creating policies and practices that discourage abusive behavior. Importantly, managers must also walk the talk. To deter bullying in the future, any policy prohibiting bullying must be reinforced by consequences. These include disciplinary action for employees or termination of service for abusive clients. Many managers don't have the ability or are unwilling to deal with abusive behaviour immediately. Bullying is a common problem among employees. However, even though it is a very small number of people who engage in bullying, it can affect entire work groups or whole workplaces. Even though only a small percentage of employees are bullies, coworkers feel the effects of the bullying behavior long before managers even realize that there is a problem. Bullying is a behavior that occurs between coworkers who are almost equals. It involves the misuse of personal power. This makes it different from other forms abuse involving managers or others who hold formal authority.

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