Avoid bullying to help better employee relationships
Increased sensitivity to bullying in America may have started in the classroom, but it has quickly moved to the workplace. For supervisors, that means it’s more important than ever to be alert to how your words and actions are being delivered…and received. Supervisors should know how to be authoritative and provide constructive criticism without giving employees an excuse to claim bullying.
1. Do know the definition of bullying: A form of abuse that includes verbal humiliation, persistent and unwarranted criticism, and intentional social isolation and exclusion.
2. Do stay focused on job performance. Avoid negative comments that are unrelated to the task at hand, such as remarks about the employee’s personal life, appearance or actions. Example: Comments like “any dummy could do this job” could be construed as bullying.
3. Don’t single out an employee for discipline, such as taking away work responsibilities without a reason or explanation or setting tougher deadlines that make success more difficult.
4. Don’t respond to employee mistakes with an accusing tone and loud voice. Instead, describe the problem and suggest ways to prevent it. A manager’s job is to teach, not scold.
5. Do be cautious of “jokes.” Don’t persistently tease employees or make them the target of your jokes. They likely won’t see the humor.
6. Do keep reprimands private. There’s no need to publicly berate or disparage the worker in front of co-workers.
7. Don’t trade in gossip and rumors. As a manager, you must keep above the fray and not gossip or spread rumors.
8. Finally, don’t be hypersensitive. It’s your job to offer constructive criticism when employees’ performance or behavior strays. That’s not bullying. Be alert to behavior that crosses the line, but don’t be afraid to do your job.
Tip: When supervisors treat employees professionally and with courtesy, bullying will never become an issue and there will always be a good supervisor employee relationship.
LUXA Enterprises offers outsourced hr solutions for small and mid-size businesses in the Tulsa and surrounding areas. If you’re considering a short or long-term approach for your hr needs, give us a call for more information at 918-928-7288.