Organisations should issue clear statements of commitment from senior management and provide examples of unacceptable behaviour to help beat a culture of workplace bullying, according to a new free guide.
Bullying in the Workplace – Guidance for Managers, developed by the Chartered Institute of Management (CIM), arbitration body Acas and trade union Unison, calls on businesses to put far greater emphasis on monitoring and eliminating bullying.
It also urges employers to provide staff with details about corporate policies, deal with complaints confidentially and make it clear that bullying is a serious disciplinary offence.
CMI chief executive Mary Chapman said that organisations should develop much more concise policies to help avoid bullying, which was having a negative impact on employee health and organisational performance.
“Bullying is not only morally indefensible, it is an undermining influence on staff morale,” she said. “It is imperative that managers recognise their duty of care by developing the knowledge and policies which reduce the likelihood of bullying occurring in the first place.”
The chief executive of the arbitration service Acas, John Taylor, said bullying was less likely to occur in organisations where respect and tolerance for others started at the very top.
The guide outlines the most common factors that contribute to organisational bullying and advises managers to look out for overbearing supervision, constant criticism, overwork, intimidation and the misuse of power.