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Working in Harmony: Best Methods for Handling an Office Bully

Bullying can have serious repercussions on not only an individual’s mental and physical state, but it also can be detrimental to your business. Did you know that 35% of the U.S workforce has reported being bullied while on the job? Today, we look to help correct this issue, and give you more insight on how you can address any issues with bullying in your small business. Look for the Signs Keeping your business running successfully is challenging, even at the best of times, but it’s important to recognize the signs for when an employee is being bullied by a fellow coworker or supervisor. Here are a few red flags that may be indication of an office bully.
  • Constant yelling or name-calling behind one’s back
  • Provides unrealistic deadlines and outrageous amounts of work that go beyond reasonable work-hours.
  • Ignoring good deeds or not being supportive when a goal is reached
  • Inadequate workspace (i.e. poor heat/cooling, cramped space, insufficient technology)
Provide a Written Policy At the basic level, you must provide a policy addressing the consequences of bullying and what constitutes office bullying. This also includes providing adequate education and training against office bullying. In addition to your written policy and training, you need to encourage your employees to report any signs of office bullying, no matter if it’s against them or another coworker. If bullying continues without any action, it can lead to serious issues such as, high blood pressure, depression, or low self-confidence. Take Action As the person in charge, it’s up to you to address the issue at hand. Confront the bullying employee and explain to them what you want changed. Know what you’re going to say ahead of time and stick to the facts. Don’t attack them personally, but the unacceptable behavior at hand. If there are repeated offenses after confrontation, then it’s time to let them go. For more on how to handle the termination of your employee, we suggest checking out SBA’s comprehensive guide. Remember, to keep a business running successfully everyone must be working in harmony. Don’t let one bad apple ruin it for everyone else. Know the signs of bullying and have a plan of action in place. Have you had to deal with an office bully in your small business? What tactics did you find beneficial?