The Workers Union has called time on bullying in the workplace.
In a tersely worded statement, a spokesperson for the organisation said: ‘Bullying at work is a disgraceful act that heaps stress and misery on its victims and sustains a corrosive working culture. With so many people having given so much to keep the country going during COVID, it seems incredible that bullying is still a major issue in the world of work. A cynic would suggest that the gratitude of company chiefs for the sacrifices made by their staff only extends as far as plastic gestures.
‘We want to see a zero tolerance approach to bullying and harassment in every place of work. Only then can we start to have some confidence that employers’ policies are worth the paper they’re written on.’
The Workers Union’s statement was made in response to a number of different news stories that have obtained currency in the last 6 months. NHS services, for example, have come under scrutiny for alleged bullying cultures; but so have industries as diverse as the armed forces and the charitable sector.
The Workers Union Says…
The first duty of any employer is to provide a safe, supportive environment where workers feel like their best interests are reflected in the company philosophy. And yet our members frequently tell us that some firms are failing to treat this issue with the seriousness that it deserves.
It is about time that captains of industry got their heads up from their share price reports and realised that creating a culture of trust is the path to doing business better. That means providing proper channels where people can report bullying without fear of reprisals. It means investing in a value-centred approach that looks to promote staff to managerial positions on the basis of their ability to create a positive dynamic within their teams, not just their ability to do their core jobs. It means offering something more than anaemic counselling phone lines that are often a cover for management inaction.
None of this should be beyond a company that has any grasp of what’s important to working people. A few weeks back, we argued that seeking a ‘goodwill dividend’ from employees should be a central part of any self-respecting staff engagement strategy. How more likely is this to occur in a business that offers a well-scoped set of support mechanisms rather than a couple of links on the intranet?
One thing is for sure. The successful businesses of the future will be the ones that adopt these principles now and deliver a better working experience for their employees. Those that fail to call time on bullying, must themselves be prepared to fail.