It’s great to think that your management team doesn’t support workplace bullying. You might think that they don’t, but what do your employees think?
Perception plays a significant role in workplace bullying and if your employees think you have a problem, then you do have a problem.
Employees can perceive that management supports the workplace bully. One research article of 7740 respondents found that 34% of targets and 21% of witnesses believed senior management supported the workplace bully. It was also perceived that the bullies peers (25% of targets and 21% of witnesses) and HR (11 and 8%) also supported the bully. It is also perceived the higher the position the bully holds in an organisation, the more likely they will be supported by senior management, their peers and HR.
There are many reasons why these perceptions exist, including privacy requirements, classical chain of command structures and lack of knowledge.
However, a key message from this research is the need to understand what your employees think for you to effectively address the perceived or real problem. This can be achieved through workplace bullying auditing.
Have you audited your workplace on workplace bullying? Did you find it helpful to resolve workplace bullying challenges?