The Blog: Bullying

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Why good values don’t always mean a good workplace culture

Organisations facing criticism so often do the same things: they deliver a strong message that bullying, harassment and any kind of discrimination won’t be tolerated anymore. From now on, they say, the values of mutual respect will be front and centre, repeated everywhere, in training, on office walls, in internal comms, boiler plates, HR materials. Values, though, don’t make a culture.

Article by 14 April 2023


Why bullying and harassment training isn’t the answer

What really matters is what HR leaders can do to encourage more trust, confidence and feelings of psychological safety, creating better places to work. This is the real root of the problem, as pointed out by the union involved: “a system of zero hours contracts, when crew members must depend on the good will of managers to be allocated hours...when there’s a culture of cover up with the use of NDAs”.

Article by 9 March 2023


How to show you’re taking bullying seriously

New attention to the potential for bullying and other kinds of inappropriate workplace behaviours in recent years doesn’t appear to have made any substantial difference to outcomes. Still there’s a binary response among employees. It’s either, ‘I’m going to have to put up with the situation’; or — ‘that’s it, I’m going to a tribunal’.

Article by 15 December 2022


Does less reported bullying mean the City has changed?

The decline in reported cases of problems has been welcomed by the sector as proof that the actions being taken have started to have an impact, helping to address the issue of toxic workplaces. But what have really been the effects of FCA pressure and a tightening up of formal processes? Something about the figures doesn’t add up.

Article by 13 October 2022


Why are so many ‘bullying’ cases turning into Employment Tribunals?

It’s too easy to assume there are suddenly more ‘bullies’ in the workplace; that post-pandemic pressures alongside the shift to hybrid forms of working and poor management are the root causes of the trend. In order for HR and organisational leaders to understand what’s happening and take action, there has to be a more nuanced appreciation of where we are, and how our new workplaces are coping with changes. It’s not as simple as encouraging more staff to be open and speak up, rewarding ‘honesty’.

Article by 18 August 2022


How do YOU prefer to deal with bullying?

Do you know anyone who has been bullied at work? Chances are that you do. That person might even be you. Have you also noticed that some people deal with it a lot better than others? Why might that be?

Article by 18 July 2019


Finding our way through the uncomfortable truths – whistleblowing, bullying and harassment

When we encounter whistleblowing, bullying and harassment, we are confronted by the need to discuss the thorny issue of the “truth” and our perception of it. The investigation of and search for an objective truth is often driven by a need to establish right and wrong. This is followed, in some form or other, by the identification of a perpetrator and a victim, of a “crime” and punishment. This can cause us to be very cautious with our words and the truths we affiliate ourselves with. It can also cause us to oversimplify the issues, avoid the grey areas and curtail discussions that are difficult. This leads to a breakdown of trust and, with that, an unwillingness to be truthful for fear of unfair incrimination.

Article by 17 July 2019


Workplace Harassment: What does the future hold?

It is now nearly two years since the #MeToo movement gained global recognition, but barely a week goes by without a new study being released or a high-profile news story breaking about the issue of workplace harassment. Indeed, on 26 June, 'This Is Not Working’- an alliance of more than 20 trade unions, charities and women’s rights organisations – launched a petition calling for a new law to force employers to prevent sexual harassment in their workplaces.

Article by 12 July 2019