You stayed away from them in school, on the playground, in the hallways, in the lunch room. You avoided them in every instance, less they turn their focus on you…bullies. Unfortunately, bullies aren’t just in school. They have graduated to the workplace, and there is nowhere to hide at work. They are in just about every business, and at all levels of business. And the worst part about a bully at work is that they affect everyone. Not just the person being bullied, but the co-workers that witness bullying. Even worse, the customers that witness bullying may decide to do business elsewhere. So you have an unstable work environment and could be losing business. So what to do?
In Derek Irvine’s Recognize This blog, he suggests doing two things for workplace bullying: be reactive (get rid of the bully) and be proactive (support those who might not fit in the box but are very valuable to the organization). Most HR experts suggest that you always try to coach and train and coach and train problems in the hope of fixing them, as that is typically cheaper than recruiting new employees. However, in the case of bullies, most experts agree that removing them is the only way that a company ultimately can survive. Bullies are poison to the success of your organization.
The second thing to do and this is very important, is to make sure those outside the norm of the company, are allowed to prosper in your company’s environment. Bullies try to make everyone fit in, and will keep bullying until they get that person to change. In Seth Godin’s blog, he suggests that you let people who don’t fit in, not fit in. You should encourage people who are somewhat different as they will give you there best efforts if you allow them to be themselves…sort of an everyone is different, encourage and support that person to the good of the company.
At Managepoint, we are the Human Resources Department for hundreds of companies, and we help these companies with Payroll, Benefits, HR Administration and training. Call us to learn how we can help you.