Prevent bullying in your workplace today — don’t wait for it to happen in your company!

March 9, 2020 Izabella Juchowska

Bullying isn’t just something created by thriller writers — it is taking place right now, in glazed office buildings, sterile conference rooms, and modern entertainment and leisure spaces. To what extent? According to studies, nearly 2 million people have experienced bullying in the workplace. That’s approximately the entire population of Warsaw.

What is bullying?

Swedish psychologist and psychiatrist Heinz Leymann defines bullying is harassing behavior directed towards one or more people, which occurs over an extended period of time and leads to negative consequences (humiliation, isolation, job loss).

In the bully’s web

The fact that bullying in the workplace really takes place is demonstrated not only by statistics, but also by the stories of people who have been victims of harassment — the experiences of Ann, Beth, Michael… ordinary employees, like you and me, who have been caught in a trap from which there is no easy way out. Moreover, every day in the bully’s web brings increasing losses to the victim and less hope of rescue. Psychologists simply say that after some time, the victims themselves start to believe what the bully is saying — that they’re terrible people, that their competences are worthless, and that they won’t find another job elsewhere. And time only works against them.

How do you prevent bullying?

One way to combat bullying and discrimination is to raise awareness of these issues. You may think that awareness itself won’t change much, but it’s quite the opposite. Experts dealing with the problem of bullying in the workplace emphasize that one of the techniques of fighting the bully is to make them aware that the victim can call out the bully’s behavior, and that they will do everything to oppose it. Bullying feeds on silence, passivity, and ignorance. By organizing a training seminar, you are giving your employees (and yourself!) the knowledge that will help them to recognize such behavior and defend themselves against it.

MyNetwork Polska will help you increase awareness of bullying among your employees! See what you can find in our courses.

A training session is not a handbook

However, in order to raise awareness, the training shouldn’t stop at “informing what bullying is and what its causes are.” Such an approach will lead to the course being overloaded with “ultra-smart” definitions, subsections to each point, and “super useful” lists of types, characteristics, and effects. The whole thing may be very clever but it’s also very boring. And let’s be clear: “clicking” through slides won’t automatically help employees to memorize the information, and it won’t evoke any emotions.

Let’s do things differently!

So, what can you do? You can choose another approach inspired by the latest trends in e-learning. We’ve opted for case studies — stories of people who have been victims of bullying. One of them is Monica, a 30-year-old project manager who’s just starting out in a new position. In the course, we want to tell her story while equipping learners with the skills that will allow them to identify bullying behavior.

Example? The phases of bullying — you’ve probably heard about them. The second phase of bullying can be characterized as a time of “unsuccessful struggle of the victim,” “growing health problems,” and the “lack of a reaction from the people around them”:

“Why are you saying that? That’s a nasty lie!” Monica shouted when her supervisor yet again started talking about her lack of competence to lead projects, zero effectiveness, and terrible decision-making. She quickly ran out of the office, all shaken up and with tears in her eyes. Yet again… How long has this been going on? Four months? Her self-confidence, satisfaction with her achievements… it has all started to fade away…

Cases, quizzes, and statistics

The prevention of bullying is only effective when there is cooperation between the organization, the managers, and the employees. Give your employees the chance to learn from the course — which won’t be a long presentation of various definitions and lists — but one filled with interesting case studies, intriguing quizzes, statistics, and information presented in the form of a modern Rise.

We know that your employees are far more capable than simply answering infantile questions like “Does bullying have a negative impact on your work?” It makes far more sense to face a quiz where you have to decide how you would act if you witnessed bullying. Sounds better, right?

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