Bullying in the workplace can impact an employee’s psychological safety and the overall psychological health and safety of the workplace. Unaddressed aggression or unresolved conflicts among co-workers have the potential to escalate into a crisis in the workplace.
A Workplace Bullying Policy needs to consider each of the following:
- Relevant legislationon workplace harassment and bullying.
- Goals and objectivesthat are clearly stated.
- Definition of what constitutes harassment or bullying. Include “harassment that adversely affects the worker’s psychological well-being”.
- Consequences for violationand a clear statement that workplace harassment and bullying will not be tolerated.
- Code of Conduct, where relevant, as a reference in the policy.
- Distinction between an isolated incidentand repeated behaviour.
- Management responsibilityfor handling a report of harassment or bullying.
- Role of employeesin identifying and reporting incidents of harassment or bullying, emphasizing that confidentiality is guaranteed.
- Who will investigateor handle a complaint and how they will be chosen.
- Procedure to resolve
- Value of informal resolutionbefore a complaint is officially filed. Offer suggestions on how a resolution may be reached.
- Assurancethat allegations of harassment and bullying will be dealt with seriously, quickly and confidentially.
- Assessment of common areas of riskassociated with workplace harassment and bullying. Employees who may be more likely to be the target of bullying and harassment, such as new employees and those that represent a minority in the workplace due to age, gender, religion or race. If necessary, offer diversity training and create a code of conduct that addresses these issues.
- Clear conflict resolution
- Consequences for frivolous or vexatious complaintsmade with malicious intent.
- Review by legal counseland senior leaders.
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