How Do Modern Companies Tackle Harassment?

Most of our day and week is spent at work. Not everybody loves what they do, but we all deserve to feel at ease and comfortable in the workplace. The environment you work in should be a supportive one where you can work towards your goals without feeling the pressure of having attention drawn on you.

Bullying is commonly thought of as something which only happens at school. However, this is far from the case as some bullies stay bullies, and are never taught how to grow up. Bullying is not limited by age or environment, unfortunately, and it is far more common for it to occur in a workplace than one might imagine. It could be an overbearing and critical boss singling out an employee and blaming or punishing them or workers playing consistent pranks on one specific employee or purposefully ignoring their contributions to a project. 

These are all types of bullying within a workplace.

Everyone has a right to be heard, and things such as bullying, harassment, and mobbing should not be tolerated in the workplace. As such, it is important that qualified executives are brought into the workplace to handle this type of situation, should it occur.

This is why Executive Assessment and Development programs are important in assessing the level an executive is at before hiring them. We will go over some statistics, look at examples, and analyse what your workplace can do to stop workplace harassment and bullying.

How common is bullying/harassment in the workplace?

  • 6 of 10 people have either witnessed or suffered bullying of some form in the workplace
  • 37% of employees have said they were bullied themselves
  • Only 960 out of 2000 people that witnessed bullying did anything about it.
  • 68% said the bullying was not as blatant, such as being left out. 
  • 1 in 20 employees saw physical violence occur between co-workers.
  • Shouting, intimidation, shoving and threatening behaviour have all been reported
  • 40% of women in the workplace have experienced some kind of harassment throughout their career

Activision Blizzard & Workplace Harassment:

One of the most prominent cases of workplace harassment has been the case of the gaming company Activision Blizzard. The company would pay women less for the same job as their male counterparts, women would constantly be passed over for promotions, male co-workers would give their work to their female colleagues while they played Call of Duty, and female employees would be harassed by co-workers during the working day, at social nights and conventions while the president of the company did nothing about the allegations. The allegations caused the US government to file charges against the company and caused the it to be sold to Microsoft.

Tips On How You Can Eliminate Harassment From The Workplace:

  1. Everything starts with culture. Improving culture involves improving diversity, inclusion and equality at all levels. It is essential to communicate with all employees that harassment of any kind is unacceptable. It is important to conduct a 'climate survey' for harassment in the workplace.

  2. Comprehensive and clear harassment policies should be implemented. This policy should be communicated and advertised regularly to all employees, and all reported instances of harassment must be followed through and acted on. 

  3. Anti-harassment training should be incorporated, and every employee should participate in the programme. The programme should go over how to prevent harassment, how to report it and how managers should deal with it. 

  4. Accessible and robust reporting mechanisms should be established and should consist of formal and informal avenues which can allow employees to use whichever works best for them to help make them feel safe.

  5. Reports of harassment should be responded to in such a manner. It should demonstrate that the employers are taking the reports seriously and should be handled appropriately and sensitively.

The actions listed above can keep workplace harassment to a minimum so long as they are implemented.

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