Personal examination is important. It is how we grow and improve ourselves, so try to look at yourself and see if you could be guilty of harassing or bullying others in your workplace.
If you notice any signs of bullying amongst your employees, you should act quickly to minimize the damage. The following steps will help arrest any harassment quickly:
1. First and foremost, you must make it clear to all that there is a no-tolerance rule when it comes to employee harassment. Your policies on what constitutes harassment and the consequences for such should be clearly outlined in your policy books. You can find many human resource companies on the Internet that have templates you could use as models.
2. Relay to your workers that open communication plays a vital role in keeping peace in the workplace. Working out problems is not a sign of weakness, but of strength.
3.Discourage practical jokes and excessive fooling around at work. This is often where problems begin. Being the butt of someone else's joke can be isolating and demoralizing.
We are going to have people at odds with each other from time to time. It is human nature. That does not mean that harassment in the workplace is inevitable. As managers we must set the example in treating others with respect and dignity and make it very clear that we expect the same from all of our employees. This should go a long way toward minimizing the problem of on-the-job harassment in your workplace.
About the author: Jon Olson is production and operations manger for Sterling Surfaces in Sterling , Mass. A solid surface fabricator since 1982, he has gained experience in all phases of solid surface fabrication while helping the company grow from 10 to 50 employees. Currently, Olson teaches a course titled, "How to Mange Shop Employees" at ISSFA's ITEC in Henderson , Nev. He may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org