Standing up to a bully

by | Jul 29, 2016 | Disciplinary & Dismissal

At HRtoolkit, we met a client with an employee who shouted and intimidated another team member. It was an obvious situation of bullying, but the stories about this guy were legend. Evidently, a colleague was so scared after one encounter, that he hid in the local police station to get away!

The problem our client faced, was that the intimidation had gone on for some time unreported, so the bully in question could have perceived that there was a level of acceptance of their behaviour. However, no-one is entitled to act this way in the workplace, and the principals of trust and good faith in an employment relationship apply to both employers and employees. Further to this, under our Health and Safety laws, everyone has a duty of care, to ensure that no action or inaction is harmful to another worker.

Using the HRtoolkit document library, our client invited their employee to a disciplinary meeting. As a result, he was given a written warning and put on a performance improvement plan. A condition of the warning was that the employee attended an employee assistance programme which involved personal coaching.

The employee was a big guy and had always used his size to bully and intimidate people. After coaching, there was such a huge turnaround in the his behaviour that within six months the employee was promoted.

HRtoolkit gave our client the confidence to stand up to a bully, helping them explain the impact of this behaviour on their team and business. It also gave them the courage to find a way to deal with the issue in a fair and reasonable manner. Our client lost at least four staff because they didn’t deal with this bully earlier, but with the help of HRtoolkit document library, they gained an effective and loyal employee.

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