To pick up from where I left yesterday. Are my 3 suggestions for a bully-proof workplace compatible with ‘Strong’ management?

  1. Have clear policies in place with examples of what is and is not acceptable behaviour and make clear any employee who can’t or won’t manage their own behaviour will lose their job.
  2. Make clear that witnesses to abusive behaviour should raise their concerns.
  3. Have bully-proofing webinars and workshops to empower their workforce to DO THE RIGHT THING.

In my experience in the BBC, the most popular managers were those that were ‘firm but fair’ – employees like to know where they stand and that the rules will be applied fairly to everyone. Managers who are too soft make promises about people’s careers that they can’t keep, cause a lot of grief when people’s dreams hit reality. I have seen people dismissed who still liked the manager who dismissed them – why – because the manager treated them with respect. That is the very least an organisation should expect from its management. Humiliating, shouting, and snapping are examples of managers not being capable of managing their own behaviour – why would any organisation want to entrust its reputation to someone who is still essentially a child!

So, under 

1. Explicit examples of what is and what is NOT acceptable behaviour. For example, shouting, unless due to distance or to avoid an accident, is unacceptable as it is an illegitimate attempt to impose your will upon another. 

2. If you witness bullying, IT IS an attempt to bully you, at the very least, out of having an opinion about the abusive behaviour you are witnessing. Either the perpetrator has so little respect for you, they are gloating – “Look at what I can do, and you aren’t going to do a thing about it” and/or shouting is a grooming method in its own right. Not challenging it is tenement to telling the perpetrator that you too could be a good target.’ Raising concerns’ doesn’t have to be formal.

3. Hold bully-proofing webinars to empower your workforce to DO THE RIGHT THING, that could be anything from reporting unacceptable behaviour – if witnessed or experienced, to reporting financial irregularities, to reporting breaches of journalist practices whereupon the allegations will be investigated rigorously in a way that aims to restore the organisation reputation.

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