About Us  |  About Cheetah®  |  Contact Us

Expert provides tips for updating your anti-bullying policy

Employer-led, voluntary anti-bullying solutions are the most likely to succeed. The system of four steps advocated for by the American Management Association follows a path familiar to any company that has coupled recognition training with a prohibitive policy and enforcement mechanism.

1. Create a new values-driven policy. Ideal provisions in the policy include:

  • Declaration of Unacceptability. The organization must state its displeasure with the misconduct.
  • Hostile Workplace Protections for Everyone. To extend rights to everyone regardless of protected group status; and may extend, combine or replace existing antiviolence and anti-harassment policies.
  • Inescapable Definition. To reserve prohibitions only for severe incidents, to clarify the threshold for taking action
  • Non-Punitive Separation for Safety. To appropriately place bullying in the health and safety domain.
  • Documentation of Adverse Impact. To discourage frivolous complaints or abuse of the policy To incorporate perpetrator pattern & practice over time.

2. New, credible enforcement processes.

  • Credible Third-Party Investigation & Adjudication Process. To foster employee trust, to remove influence of personal relationships.
  • Progressive Disciplinary Action. Not zero tolerance, to allow for change in conduct.
  • Retaliation Prohibition. To count offenses of retaliation separately, to stop the cycle of violence.

3. Restorative interventions for at-risk teams and individuals.

  • Coaching for identified perpetrators with employment-contingent change contract; and
  • Interviewing affected workteams to identify those most harmed, to provide counseling.

4. General and specialized education.

  • Executive orientation & commitment;
  • Managerial training;
  • Specialty preparation for HR, Anti-discrimination Officers, Risk Managers; and
  • All-Hands training coupled with policy implementation.

Source: “Busting Workplace Bullies” a webinar presented on August 26, 2010, by the American Management Association, 1601 Broadway New York, NY 10019; telephone: 800-262-9699.