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Dealing with unacceptable behaviour in the workplace

Harassment and bullying at work

It’s a sad fact that this sort of behaviour that affects the dignity of a person can still be found in certain workplaces.

Harassment in the workplace is unacceptable and should not be tolerated in any form or manner. It is the responsibility of all good employers to ensure it is dealt with quickly, professionally and discretely.

Victims can feel undervalued, de-motivated and humiliated in front of work colleagues. This in turn can create a negative and intimidating atmosphere in any work environment and can also affect employee performance.

Victimisation and harassment can come in many different forms, but can be summed up as persistent demeaning and offensive language and actions towards a particular person. It does not necessarily have to be verbal and on a one to one basis, it can be via email, letters, in company blogs or over the phone.

Types of bullying and harassment:-

- Demeaning behaviour towards a person

- Ridiculing someone on a regular basis

- Intimidating and offensive language used against a individual

- Constant picking on a person in front of other work colleagues

- Openly racist, sexist or homophobic language

- The spreading of critical rumours about a person

- Being critical about a person behind their back

- Sexual harassment by making sexual advances towards individuals like stroking them or standing too close to them etc.

- Not offering training or promotional opportunities to specific workers

All of the above behaviour can lead employees to feeling stressful and negative about work. In extreme cases it can lead to employees not coming to work and even resigning from a company.

As you can see in these cases the cost to a employer can be great as it can mean them having to start the recruiting and training process again. It is therefore much easier and productive for employers to have a policy and procedures in place to stamp this sort of behaviour out before it escalates.


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