Have your managers been trained to manage rather than bully?

Line managers are more likely to be responsible for workplace bullying than any other group in the workplace, a survey has found, leading to calls for more support and training for those with management responsibilities.
A new report from the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development has found that two-fifths of employees who had experienced bullying and harassment at work said their line manager was responsible.

This compares to 29% who said a colleague within their team was responsible, 18% who cited colleagues elsewhere in the organisation, and just 5% who said a customer or client was responsible for bullying.

The report which surveyed more than 2,000 employers and staff about their experiences of conflict at work over the last three years, also revealed that line managers were either a source of conflict or made conflict worse.

Almost two-thirds of line managers surveyed reported not receiving any people management training. The report also found that serious issues arising from workplace conflict such as bullying and harassment were thought to be ignored by some staff. A quarter of employees surveyed said such problems were “swept under the carpet” in their organisation.

More than half of the respondents who reported having experienced bullying said they had not reported this to their employer, despite a third of workers more generally saying they felt more confident challenging sexual harassment than they did two years ago, when the #MeToo movement gained momentum on social media.

If poorly managed, or not addressed at all, conflict at work may result in the deterioration of working relationships, grievances and resignations. Employers can be liable to potentially costly tribunal claims if an employee successfully claims they have been harassed and the business did not take ‘reasonable steps’ to prevent this.
121 is running a workshop aimed at managers, to support them in managing difficult situations at work in a way that avoids any potential claim of bullying. “Behaviours at Work – Understanding the Unacceptable” is running in Dundee on 6th March and in Glasgow on 11th March. Email events@121hrsolutions.co.uk for further information.

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