Dealing with Workplace Bullying and Harassment at your Supermarket

The goal of any supermarket owner should be to create a safe and enjoyable work environment for all their employees. After all, happy employees do generate a productive business.

Employee policies and workplace posters are an important avenue for employers to communicate with their employees about what types of conduct are prohibited, what employees should do if they witness harassment, and what consequences a harasser could potentially face. You may have an excellent team of people, but as businesses grow, so does the likelihood of potential conflict amongst each other.

What Is Workplace Bullying?
Workplace bullying occurs when an individual, or a group of individuals, repeatedly behaves inappropriately towards a worker, or a group of workers, that creates a risk to health and safety including both physical and psychological abuse.

There are many different forms of bullying- some are direct, some are indirect.

Some examples of direct bullying can include:

  • Abusive, insulting or offensive language or remarks
  • Violent, aggressive or intimidating conduct
  • Humiliating comments
  • Victimisation

Examples of indirect bullying can include:

  • Unjustified criticism or complaints
  • Deliberately excluding someone from work-related activities
  • Withholding vital information for effective work performance
  • Setting unreasonable timelines
  • Assigning unreasonable tasks
  • Denying access to information, supervision, consultation or resources
  • Spreading rumors

While these are just some possible indications of workplace bullying, any inappropriate behavior that offends, humiliates, or abuses an employee or creates a hostile environment should be addressed immediately.

Supervisor and Worker Roles

Managers and supervisors must foster a culture that does not tolerate or encourage harassment, bullying or workplace violence and should ensure that they do not engage in any conduct of this nature themselves.

When outlining a policy, employee roles should also be made clear to avoid miscommunication in what is and isn’t acceptable. Guidelines for workers include:
Not engaging in harassment, bullying or workplace violence

  • Not aiding, abetting or encouraging others to engage in harassment, bullying or workplace violence
  • Behaving responsibly and professionally
  • Treating others in the workplace with respect
  • Listening and responding appropriately to the views and concerns of others
  • Being fair and honest in their dealings with others

Ask IndiHub

The purpose of an Anti-Bullying/Anti-Harassment Policy in the workplace is to communicate to all employees, including supervisors, managers and executives, that the company will not in any instance tolerate bullying behavior. Employees found in violation of this policy will be disciplined, up to and including termination.

IndiHub members can call HR Central at our free HR Helpdesk to talk through any staff-related issues. If you or someone you know is experiencing workplace bullying, we can guide you through the process of addressing and appropriately handling the situation.

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