How to Make Your Office a Bullying-Free Zone

How to Make Your Office a Bullying-Free Zone

Bullying at the workplace is commonplace and it is probably happening right under your nose. Lots of managers aren’t aware of the level of stress their subordinates are under from their coworkers. It occurs in a lot of different ways. This includes:

  • Verbal abuse
  • Demeaning behavior
  • Repeated humiliating jabs
  • “Ganging up” on one person, i.e. group bullying
  • Sabotaging one’s work

These behaviors are commonly seen amongst coworkers in the workplace. But you’ll find that a lot of these times, a lot of bullying comes directly from your managers—people you have hired to watch over stuff. In that case, the bullying is strengthened by a power distance. A manager may:

  • Single someone out to pick on
  • Pile extra work on that person
  • Be nitpicky about the quality of their work
  • Point out every minute mistake
  • Become verbally abusive
  • Publically humiliate the subordinate

Here is an infographic from Office Team that presents some stats on the matter:

Now the question is, how do you as a manager or business owner make sure this does not occur in your workplace? How do you make your office a bully free zone?

Here are a few things you should know:

  • You can monitor workplace behavior, but you cannot mould someone’s personality
  • To make sure you are hiring the right personalities, your recruitment process needs to be rigorous
  • Make sure you repeatedly communicate a no-tolerance policy to all your staff when it comes to bullying
  • You can monitor communications and make sure employees are abiding by it
  • Make sure everyone knows the consequences of such behavior
  • Set the precedent by making an example of the first bullying case your office encounters
  • Hold meetings and seminars to educate your staff on the matter

Here is some information on Anti-Workplace Bullying laws from HR Investigator:

As the business owner or manager, you are responsible for setting the culture of your organization. You set the boundaries around which the staff operates. So make sure you develop a culture of mutual respect and integrity rather than one of overly cutthroat competition which leads to people bullying one another. You may be fooled to think that level of competition is good, but in actuality, it ends up harming your company and increasing your attrition rate.


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