June 19, 2017

Winston Churchill Said This, So it Must Be a Very Important Saying

By Paul Bieber

“Bully for You!” It was just about his favorite expression when he wanted to praise someone, some organization, or the entire Royal Air Force. So, how did this change? How did “Bully” go from a word of praise to one of revulsion in the U.S.?

Being a bully, whether in person, or more so today online, is wrong. Why is this the thought for my blog today? Because bullying in a company is bad for your company morale; it hurts people; it sends the wrong message to your workforce if you allow or worse encourage it;  it increases your employee turnover and it can cost you a ton of money if a bullying incident goes to court.

Let’s define what bullying is:

  • It is a deliberate action, not a one-time-only conversation or misunderstanding.
  • It is behavior by one person, or a group, aimed at one person or a group of people as a way to make them submit to the group and its ideas.
  • It usually implies consequences of not conforming to the actions demanded.
  • It can even be throughout an entire organization in attempting to set the tone; for instance we all work at a slower rate so we can collect overtime pay.
  • It may be a so ingrained that the group is unconscious of what they are doing.
  • It is most often not physical, but can involve shoving or hitting.

Bullying can be specific or systemic.  Here’s specific:

  • Backstabbing
  • Blaming
  • Excessive fault-finding, real or made up
  • Name-calling
  • Public or private intimidation
  • Shouting one-on-one or in front of others
  • Unwarranted criticism

And systemic bullying, usually from someone in authority contains:

  • Excluding an employee from conversations
  • Giving unfair or unrealistic assignments to employees
  • Isolating or ignoring an employee
  • Refusing to work with a specific employee

What are the effects of bullying in any company? They cost you money, big time, due to poor teamwork and communication; lousy work output for your customers; excessive sick time and unreliability of scheduling; near misses and more accidents at work; and a pervasive attitude of lack of trust and respect.

Someone who is bullied at work can complain to the appropriate federal or state agency, causing you legal headaches and fine. Bad publicity will follow you for a long time.

Let’s solve this in your glass company!

  • Talk about bullying. Define it for your company; raise awareness and develop a consciousness about bullying.
  • Make people accountable for their actions; create an environment of mutual respect.
  • Never let it go unaddressed. Where possible, talk to the bully calmly, explaining the problem and working to resolve it promptly.
  • Depending on the size of your company, have bullying incidents reported directly to you or a personnel department or a supervisor who is not involved with the case at hand.
  • If you are part of a large company, arrange a private mail box, only openable by you, where complaints can be emailed.

In this case, let’s go back to Benjamin Franklin—“An ounce of prevention is worth more than a pound of a cure.”