The target has no knowledge of serial bullies, sociopaths, etc., and no experience of dealing with these characters • There’s a lack of knowledge about bullying • The target fears that no one will believe them • Bullies are encouraged and rewarded, often by promotion • In many cases unions are unhelpful and may be part of the problem • The target doesn’t want to have ‘stress’ noted on their health record • The target doesn’t want to get others into trouble and is reluctant to initiate a grievance against a fellow human being • If another manager handles the grievance, he or she may be connected with the bully in some way (Adapted from: UK National Workplace Bullying Advice, and Stop Bullying in South Australia, )
30 Bullying in the Workplace: A Handbook Bullying poses a great risk to the mental and physical health of nurses, which can lead to deterioration of patient care. Only when employers, staf and clients take incidents of bullying seriously by will these risks be removed from the health sector workplace (International Council of Nurses 2007). Step 4 – Evaluation and Review The fourth step involves the ongoing review and evaluation of the speciic strategies and plans implemented in a workplace to prevent and control workplace bullying. The evaluation and review process should ensure that those strategies are efective. If you have a health and safety representative or joint health and safety committee, consultation with them should be part of the processes used to develop anti-bullying strategies and the ongoing monitoring and review of the efectiveness of the strategies.
Bullying in the Workplace: A Handbook 31 Putting the Knowledge to Work The following case study provides an example of how the employer, supervisor and fellow workers might respond to this potential bullying situation. John is a middle-aged worker struggling to keep abreast of rapid changes at his workplace. His supervisor continuously criticizes him for his work, persistently picks on him in front of others, excludes him from meetings he should attend and often shouts at him for trivial reasons. John is concerned. The list below outlines possible actions the employer, supervisor or co-workers can take. Employer Response: • Develop and enforce a zero-tolerance policy • Ofer an employee assistance program for all workers • Ofer training programs for all staf related to workplace bullying • Educate managers in efective management strategies • Conduct a culture assessment • Develop fact sheets and a reporting process for employees • Be prepared to discipline, retrain, suspend or terminate the perpetrator Supervisor Response: (In this instance this would be the person with authority over John’s supervisor) • Conduct an assessment of the area if you suspect bullying • Encourage reporting of all incidents • Investigate the report of bullying and interview both parties •
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