How to prevent workplace bullying

Get a free consultation
Health Assured Logo

Health Assured team

09 November 2021

According to CIPD research, 15% of employees in the UK have been victims of workplace bullying in the past three years.

That's over 1 in every 10 staff members who are experiencing unwanted conflict at work. This statistic highlights the struggle many employees are facing.

Workplace bullying is easy to miss. As an employer, you may be too busy to notice if an employee is subtly mistreating another employee. So how do you deal with such a hidden problem?

Understand what workplace bullying is

ACAS defines workplace bullying as “any unwanted behaviour that makes someone feel uncomfortable, frightened, made fun of or upset.”

Some examples include:

  • Constantly criticising a colleague and taking duties and responsibilities away from them without good reason.
  • Putting a colleague down and making them the butt of jokes, in private or in front of others.
  • Ignoring, victimising or excluding a colleague.
  • Spreading rumours about them.

Communicate your approach to your staff

It’s a good idea to explain your stance on bullying to new team members during their induction. If you have an anti-bullying policy, you could use this time as an opportunity to talk them through it. An efficient way to do this is through a welcome presentation or simply have it outlined in an employee handbook.

Cultivate a positive working culture

Because work can be fast-paced and stressful, it can be difficult to find time to build significant and positive relationships with all your colleagues. One way to get around this issue is to create a friendly workplace environment. As well as increasing staff morale, it’ll make cases of bullying stand out more.

To foster a positive team spirit, you could organise social events outside of working hours. Some examples include book clubs, fitness classes and the occasional after-work charity fundraiser. If you have space, you could even hold these events in your workplace.

Remember, you should cater your social events to the needs of your staff. Think about the personalities within your organisation and tailor their rewards around them. This will help encourage employee engagement with the activity and increase the chance of building positive relationships in the workplace.

Cost of workplace bullying

According to university research, bullying-related absenteeism, turnover and lost productivity costs UK organisations £683 million annually.

This staggering figure reaffirms that workplace bullying can have detrimental effects on employers, not just the victim and their co-workers who witness it. If not dealt with swiftly, workplace bullying can contribute to:

  • Reduced productivity
  • A hostile work environment
  • Increased absenteeism
  • Reduced employee loyalty and commitment

By implementing the points raised in this guidance, you will progress towards creating a work environment that cultivates teamwork, cooperation, and positive interaction. And one that sets your organisation’s stance on workplace bullying.

If you would like to find out more information on any of the topics mentioned in this article, please contact Health Assured on:

0844 892 2493

Make your enquiry

Please complete the form below and we'll be in touch to answer your enquiry

Book a place on this workshop

Get a free consultation

Please complete the form and we'll be in touch to schedule your free consultation

An error occurred

We appologise but an error has occurred submitting your form. Please try again.