Posts Tagged workplace bullying

Bullying in a Warehouse Environment and How to Deal With It

Bullies are, sadly, part of life. Some people derive a great deal of pleasure from making others feel bad. This can be done physically, emotionally and with social media. Unfortunately, many of these individuals don’t get such behaviour out of their systems during childhood. Some even carry it into the professional world, and few people are equipped to deal with them in a meaningful way. Warehouse businesses need to understand not only how to identify bullying behaviour, but also how to instruct employees to deal with these individuals. The process is simple, at least on paper, yet can have a huge impact on the way a business is run and the morale of its employees.

Identify What it Means to Be a Bully

There’s much more to bullying than the typical schoolyard insults that you might remember from your youth. To combat bullying, it’s necessary to first identify how it presents in the workplace. While bullying can be physical, it can also consist of shunning people, gossip, and berating others for their ideas. Simply put, bullying is any activity undertaken to put another person at a disadvantage. It doesn’t have to benefit the person doing the bullying, necessarily – what is important is that another person is put down, and that the workplace environment becomes hostile.

Accepting the Realities of the Warehouse

When dealing with bullying, it’s also important to realise that a warehouse is also largely different than a white collar environment. While many of the same motivations and personalities might be at play, bullying can have dangerous consequences in an environment that is fully of heavy equipment. Bullying doesn’t just slow down the work day and make people upset – it can lead to distractions, which can in turn lead to accidents. Bullying is an issue that’s even more dangerous in a warehouse environment, and thus must be handled with extra care.

Dealing with Bullies in the Warehouse

Dealing with a bully can be difficult, but there are options available to anyone who feels like they are being targeted. There can often be a stigma against going to management to deal with such issues in a warehouse, and it’s often recommended that bullying victims ‘stand up for themselves’. Unfortunately, this simple statement is not only often difficult in reality, but can also cause further problems. Instead, the best way to deal with bullying is to document the issues as they occur and then go to the management with definitive proof. While it’s good to be firm, it’s even better to provide proof that the bullying has occurred.

Dealing with bullying isn’t an easy task, nor is it one that is always as effective as one might hope. Identifying the behaviours, realising the problems they can cause, and coming up with plans to deal with troublemakers should be a primary concern for any warehouse business. Workplace bullying can be eliminated, but only with the cooperation of workers and management. Without a solid plan, bullying will continue to cause workers distress and cost businesses hard-earned money for years to come.

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Workplace Bullying Policy

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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