As a manager, you have a responsibility to intervene as soon as possible after suspecting or becoming aware there is unreasonable behaviour happening in your workplace.

Here are six things to consider when responding to workplace bullying.

Is The Behaviour Bullying or Not?

The precise nature of the behaviour should be understood prior to developing a response. For example, if the behaviour involves physical violence or what appears to be unlawful discrimination or sexual harassment, whether it is repeated or not, it will require a different and perhaps more immediate responsive action, including, for example, standing down employees to enable the allegation to be investigated while maintaining the safety of others.

Does The Situation Warrant Measures to Minimise the Risk of Ongoing Harm?

If necessary interim measures should be taken to minimise the risk to health or safety. This may involve temporarily reassigning tasks, separating the parties involved or granting leave.

Do I Have a Clear Understanding of The Issues?

Seek out additional information to ensure that you have a clear understanding of the allegations and any response by the person against whom the complaints are made. That may also include obtaining information from relevant third parties who may have observed the actions or behaviour.

Do I Need Additional Information or Assistance?

If you are unsure of what to do, you should consult internally, including by holding discussions with senior management, human resources, or a health and safety representative, so that you can develop appropriate responses to manage the parties involved at all stages, including in addressing the parties’ behaviour.

Can The Matter Be Safely Resolved Between the Parties or At a Team Level?

In some situations, it may be possible to use a consultative approach to help individuals reach an outcome that will ensure the unreasonable behaviour ceases. A proposed resolution should be discussed with the person who reported the behaviour to check that they are comfortable with this proposed course.

Should The Matter Be Progressed to An Investigation?

Depending on the severity or complexity of the allegations, some matters may need to be investigated.

Like To Learn More?

To find out more about the responsibilities of a supervisor and manager when it comes to preventing and responding to workplace bullying, please refer to the Sentrient series of online compliance courses for supervisors and managers.

To Get a Free Demonstration of The Supervisors and Managers Suite of Online Compliance Courses, please get in touch with Us Today!