A recent article in WalesOnline stated Bridgend Council reported they have “robust, clear policies in place to ensure that all employees understand what is expected of them and can behave appropriately”, yet they’ve had 22 complaints of bullying since January 2009.
A policy on appropriate workplace behaviour and a procedure for dealing with breaches of this are, of course, essential. Unfortunately, such policies and procedures don’t automatically give managers and workers the skills to deal with inappropriate workplace behaviour and prevent poor working relationships.
Bullying and harassment policies and procedures need to be more than part of the regular review cycle. They should be developed and reviewed with meaningful staff involvement and their effectiveness measured against the number of complaints, together with feedback and analysis of how incidents have been handled.
Also vital to the effectiveness of bullying and harassment policies and procedures is training for managers to:
- recognise and resolve unhealthy conflict
- create a clear understanding of personal and professional boundaries
- deal with unecessary conflict quickly and effectively
- handle formal procedrues confidently and efficiently