Workplace Bullying In Hybrid Teams

How To Prevent Workplace Bullying In Hybrid Teams

More workers than ever before are working full- or part-time remotely, therefore there should be less chance for workplace abuse than in the past.

Raised voices, remarks about how people look, harassment, and bullying akin to what happens in a playground shouldn’t be as common in a hybrid workplace, yet they are.

Hybrid working is creating new issues at work, including:

There is less chance to diffuse conflict if there is tension amongst coworkers. Coworkers may avoid one another while working remotely, escalating any existing animosity.

A manager has fewer opportunities to notice signs of an employee’s well-being.

The likelihood of a tone or message being misunderstood increases when text is the predominant mode of communication.

Within instant messaging applications, “clique” group discussions have taken the role of “water cooler moments.” These provide those involved a feeling of security, allowing them to talk about things openly.

Because they are excluded from in-person meetings and/or group chats, remote employees are allegedly feeling alienated and disconnected from the rest of the organization.

Percy Grunwald, owner of Hosting Data: “Keeping workers safe is a moral obligation for businesses. As a result, accountability for managing cultural tension, toxic behaviors, and how they affect culture should fall on leadership, particularly the CEO.

CEOs cannot continue to ignore workplace culture and depend on HR and management to do it on their own. As a firm expands and workers no longer have direct access to the CEO, middle management begins to shape the organizational culture.

Due to the opposing cultures, causes the organization to establish several cultures (one in each department, building, etc.), which fosters friction.”

Here are some strategies for preventing it:

Define Policies, Procedures, And Civility Clearly

According to Sam Willis, finance writer and owner of Raincatcher: “Workplace hostilities have escalated as a result of staff members forgetting that rules still apply while they work from home.

CEOs should work along with leadership, HR, and management to establish clear guidelines that bullying and any other sort of abuse, whether it occurs on-site or off, will not be permitted.

They should also describe what actions are acceptable and undesirable in order to further establish their culture.

Additionally, they should provide tools and educate staff members on how to report any instances of abuse. A zero-tolerance policy should only be put in place if the offender intends to follow it.

The largest error businesses make is not holding everyone responsible for following workplace rules, especially the leadership. This sends the message that executives are held to a higher standard than workers.”

Sam continues; “It goes without saying that the majority of workers are reluctant to report bullying out of concern for reprisals. As a result, businesses want to think about establishing a method for remote workers to provide feedback and express issues in an anonymous manner.

Everyone wants a release, but going to HR isn’t always comfortable. No matter how excellent you believe your HR department is, someone has undoubtedly had a bad experience that has left them reluctant to ever contact HR in the future.

Given this, it’s crucial to exercise caution while providing workers with various channels of communication, such as an Employee Assistance Program (EAP).”

Prevent toxic behaviors by taking preventive action

Jack Sobel, the founder of Rabbi Meir Baal Haness Charities, believes; “It’s time for CEOs to be more involved in managing the corporate culture. Instead of being a box to be checked off by HR, creating a positive, inclusive culture should be a strategic objective addressed by everyone.

The CEO is personally responsible for the company’s ideals. The CEO is responsible for making sure that their staff understands the company’s goal and the wider picture. And it’s their responsibility to make sure that their team has internalized it and is following it.

Since the CEO and the team are the ones driving development, it’s critical that they uphold these ideals at all times.”

CEOs may avoid toxic behaviors by, among other things, taking the following preventive measures:

Appointing a board-reporting organizational/culture ombuds who works with HR. The ombuds would see cultural concerns and trends that those inside would miss. They would next suggest modifications to address these cultural problems.

Engaging a third-party consultant or expert to carry out periodic anonymous surveys to get a pulse on the work environment and how workers are feeling, ensuring that management, directors, and all workers get training on unconscious bias and bystander training.

Employees who have undergone bystander training are more equipped to step in and halt bullying and abuse, even in distant locations.

Implementing a communication plan that explains how employee grievances are handled, what services and safeguards are available for victims, and what sanctions are taken against those who bully others online and in person.

Establish Prominent Penalties for Workplace Bullies

As Andy Golpys, founder of MadeByShape explains: “You may be surprised to find that the people most likely to experience bullying at work aren’t the underdogs.

According to studies by the Workplace Bullying Institute, unlike most bullying that occurs on school property, bullies are more likely to target those who represent a threat in the workplace.

This is often the case when workers are performing at or beyond expectations, when there is change, such as a merger or reorganization, or when there are new opportunities, like promotions, available.

The aim of a bully at work is to lower the value—or perceived value—of the person they see as a danger.

It’s crucial to show bullies that they will pay for their actions in order to protect victims and stop bullying in the future.

Create a plan of action to deal with the bully, train your whole staff on acceptable behavior, work with the person to coach them out of poor behavior, enact penalties, and—if needed from your company.

Bullies often feel comfortable bullying because of things like friends in management, family members, tenure, specialized talents, or personal worth to the business, yet their actions may be very costly and damaging to the organization’s image.”

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Christophe Rude

Christophe Rude

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