Welcome to Opt’s first blog post.
In the course of my work I interview all types of employee about their experiences of workplace behaviour. The disruption caused by the misuse of the term “bully” is an ongoing theme.
Misuse of the term “bully” can have a devastating effect on the organisation, individual workers and teams:
* A distraction from daily business
* Complex and time consuming investigations
* The impact of the decisions taken
* Rising levels of work related stress and high absence are just some examples.
Creating a workplace where workers are skilled and confident to raise their concerns early and informally, as well as improving their knowledge and understanding of the phrase “bullying at work” can go a long way towards preventing the real life scenario below:
“He made a wordy complaint in writing that I had bullied him. The company commissioned an investigation by an independent third party and they found no evidence whatsoever to support his allegations.
I had been responsible for advising his line manger on senior management’s decision. Basically, the guy was frustrated with the message and decided to vent this by accusing me, the messenger, of bullying. I had two meetings with this guy, no email or other correspondence, no telephone calls or personal contact and he accused me of bullying him.
I was really stressed out during the investigation, it’s not pleasant to be accused unfairly like that. I think I was the one being bullied for doing my job.”