In aid of anti-bullying week, Monday 13th to Friday 17th November, Acas, a leading authority on workplace dynamics, has taken a proactive stance by offering guidance on the identification and management of workplace bullying.

This initiative seeks to empower both employers and employees with the tools necessary to create inclusive workplaces where every individual feels respected and valued.

Recognising the detrimental impact of workplace bulling on individuals and workplace culture, Acas emphasises the importance of proactive measures in fostering a healthy and supportive work environment.

Identifying workplace bullying

Bullying can take many forms, it can include:

  • constantly criticising someone’s work;
  • spreading malicious rumours about someone;
  • repeatedly putting someone down in meetings;
  • overloading someone with a heavier workload than everyone else;
  • excluding someone from team social events; and
  • putting humiliating, offensive or threatening comments or photos on social media.

Julie Dennis, Acas Head of Inclusive Workplaces Policy, said:

Bosses should do all they can to try and prevent bullying at work and take any complaint of this nature seriously. In some cases, a person may not realise the impact of their behaviour and an informal chat could help resolve it. In other cases, a staff member could raise a formal complaint if the informal process has not worked or if the issue was too serious to resolve informally.

Julie Dennis, Acas Head of Inclusive Workplaces Policy

Advice on handling a bullying complaint:

Check your policy

Check your organisation’s policy on handling bullying or discrimination complaints.

Decide whether to handle it formally or informally

An employee will either make an informal or formal complaint. Dealing with a problem informally means taking steps to resolve it without using a formal grievance procedure.

Talk with the person who raised the issue

You should talk with the person who raised the issue. This can help you understand what’s happened and what might help resolve it.

Keep an open mind

Always keep an open mind when dealing with a complaint. Something that seems like a small thing to you can feel very different to the person experiencing it.

Answer their questions

The employee might send you an email or letter describing what’s happened and asking you questions. You should try to answer their questions. This might help to resolve the problem and avoid escalation or even legal action.

Acas’s advice is available at: https://www.acas.org.uk/bullying-at-work

Joanne Swann, Content Manager, WorkWellPro
Editor at Workplace Wellbeing Professional | Website

Joanne is the editor for Workplace Wellbeing Professional and has a keen interest in promoting the safety and wellbeing of the global workforce. After earning a bachelor's degree in English literature and media studies, she taught English in China and Vietnam for two years. Before joining Work Well Pro, Joanne worked as a marketing coordinator for luxury property, where her responsibilities included blog writing, photography, and video creation.