Don’t turn off and stop reading because you are a small business, Don’t stop reading because you believe you have all the bases covered on this one, and just because your people in the HR department say there is no need for such a thing due to no cases of it at this point be wary of that.

Imagine you employ a bright eyed graduate or fresh faced school leaver brimming with interest and potential, then after a few weeks you see them with less of a smile, less of a pep in their step. For most people watching this person they might say, yep the realities of being in a job have kicked in, he he!

That can be the case, but what if they have found their supervisor or a co-worker has given them some grief, a few terse words, a few statements which have impacted on their esteem. This might seem like petty stuff, but the impact of this sort of situation can get out of hand very quickly, the worker may feel powerless, in a bind, awkward, berated, useless and so on. Some wil bottle it in and be ready to leave the minute another opportunity arises.

Your business has a duty of care,  you have a duty of care and this needs to be stated up front that everyone in the organisation also has a duty of care to each other and your general customers. That being the case, guidelines need to be in place to clearly out line what actions are taken in situations like this and to spell out some basics as to what might constitute bullying, harassment and other situations which might impact on a persons esteem.

Okay so now a bunch of  you are saying “Hey, what the hell, do I have to care about a persons esteem? Heck I pay them to do a job, they should do it and put up with the situation, they should harden up, the world is a tough place…”

My view on that is, how can you not care about a person you employ… If you are not into caring, avoid being in business. If you don’t care, your customers won’t either and then your staff will soon disappear. Yes it’s that basic, and you need to ensure you have the situation covered or you could be caught out VERY QUICKLY.

So do the right thing and have one ready to implement now, I suggest at the very least you do a search on google and see what comes up, grab one that suits and use it. for a rock solid start try the public service in your country and see what they have you can edit to make it your own. one I looked at recently had a 44 page doc you could download easily enough and it had various examples as well. http://www.apsc.gov.au/ethics/respect.pdf

To finish, imagine this, you are interviewing people for a job, on telling them about the organisation you are able to show them a copy of your bullying policy. It shows you care, it shows you will not tolerate people who don’t care, it shows you want to have happy people enjoying being part of the team, together everyone feels safe and in a organisation which values people, enough said…

Regards

Steve Gray

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