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Workplace Bullying Policy: Taking Action for Top Results

What You Can Do To Create Your Template for a Bully Free at Work Workplace Bullying Policy:

Most targets want to take action when they feel they’ve been bullied. However, did you know that only 11% went to their manager? And only 8% went through their company’s grievance procedure! That is why it is imperative to make sure your Taking Action Process is safe and clear.

Step 1: Purpose, Statement and Examples
Step 2: Complaint – Resolution Process
Step 3: Taking Action for Top Results
Step 4: Consequences for Bullying Behavior
Step 5: Creating Buy-In to Your Workplace Bullying Policies

Step 3: Taking Action for Top Results

Procedure for a Formal Complaint:

  • Clarification:
  • Confidentiality:
  • Timing:
  • Results Reporting:
  1. Clarify procedures as to how workplace bullying complaints are handled from start to finish.
  2. One must first approach one’s superior with the complaint. Under no circumstances should a legitimate complaint be dismissed or downplayed. If the superior does not have the skills to handle this complaint, they shall obtain an authority figure competent of handling a complaint effectively. Failing this process, an HR representative or union representative will be made available. In my book Bully Free At Work  we address what a manager or boss can do to help stop workplace bullying (Page 221).
  3. Once a complaint is received, it will be kept strictly confidential. An investigation will be undertaken immediately and all necessary steps will be taken to resolve the problem. If appropriate, action taken may include conciliation. If a complaint is filed through the union as a grievance, a meeting will be held with the union representative before and after the investigation.
  4. The complainant and the alleged will be interviewed separately. Some individuals who may be able to provide relevant information will also be interviewed.
  5. If the investigation reveals evidence to support the complaint of bullying, the harasser will be disciplined appropriately. Discipline may include suspension or dismissal, and the incident will be documented in the harasser’s file. No documentation will be placed on the complainant’s file where the complaint is filed in good faith, whether the complaint is upheld or not.
  6. If the investigation fails to find evidence to support the complaint, there will be no documentation concerning the complaint placed in the file of the alleged harasser.
  7. Regardless of the outcome of a complaint, the employee lodging the complaint, as well as anyone providing information, will be protected from any form of retaliation.

For Top Results:

  • Encourage employees to come forward and anticipate needs ahead of time. Management has to model a commitment to eliminating all forms of bullying.
  • Ensure awareness, education & acceptance by all staff.
  • Provide a clear definition of workplace bullying.
  • Include guidelines for individuals seeking advice.
  • Maintain confidentiality of complaints and protect employees from retaliation.
  • Designate a person or persons to hear complaints. Individuals should be seen by employees as unbiased and as having authority to act. Have more than one person available.
  • Clear steps: Provide a step-by-step description of what happens when a complaint is made. To encourage prevention, outline the disciplinary consequences.
  • Guarantee a fair and prompt reaction to anyone with a complaint.

Note: If you are struggling here which many organizations do, feel free to contact us for consultation. We take a measure twice, cut once approach and have helped many organizations.


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3 responses to “Workplace Bullying Policy: Taking Action for Top Results”

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  3. Beth Demro says:

    Thank you so very much. Unfortunately it seems under qualified incompetent people manage to bully their way to the top and then bully everyone else to maintain their position, threatened by other’s skills and abilities. I am a proponent of Abraham Maslow’s Heirarchy of Needs and specifically Self Actualization. I believe if we all reached our full potentials, this world would be a wonderful place. How great that would be.

Valerie Cade, CSP is a Workplace Bullying Expert, Speaker and Author of "Bully Free at Work: What You Can Do To Stop Workplace Bullying Now!" which has been distributed in over 100 countries worldwide. For presentations and consulting on workplace bullying prevention and respectful workplace implementation, go to

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