You Quick Guide to Workplace Bullying

 

Training on preventing bullying in the workplace is crucial in creating a workplace that is inclusive and safe for all.

Your company has a responsibility to prevent bullying and its impact.

But what is bullying in the workplace and its different types? Why do people bully in the workplace? And what do you do if you or someone in your workplace is being bullied?

We answer these questions and more in the below Quick Guide to Workplace Bullying.

WHAT IS WORKPLACE BULLYING?

Workplace bullying is repetitive and excessively unpleasant actions and behaviors put on an employee or group of employees, that negatively impact health and safety in the workplace.

This type of harmful behavior in the workplace often goes unreported, mainly because of its shameful, intimidating effect on the victimized employee.

In even more extreme cases, workplace bullying may not come to light due to the victim working a lower-level position, and feeling intimidated. However, it’s not always a boss or manager who is doing the bullying, and it can very well be a co-worker on the same level as the person feeling victimized.

TYPES OF WORKPLACE BULLYING/BULLIES

There are several different types of bullying. Having an understanding of the different types of bullying can help you know when to identify it. These include:

Verbal bullying: With verbal bullying, the bully uses their words and/or writing to be hurtful or mean. This can be done via teasing, calling someone names, unsolicited sexual comments, making threats to harm, or mocking.

The aggressor seeks to achieve dominance over the victim by demeaning or lowering his/her self-esteem.

Cyberbullying: With cyberbullying, the bully uses sources such as cell phones, computers, and social media to spread false or unkind information about someone else, which can cause humiliation. Emailing and texting are two common forms used to perpetuate this behavior.

Types of Bullies: As previously mentioned, workplace bullying can come in many forms. One of these is the prankster, someone who doesn’t know the difference between what’s mean and what’s funny. Another one would be the saboteur. This is a person who tries to take credit for work that you did or go out of their way to make your job harder than it has to be.

There are also critics. These are the folks who, no matter how good a job you do, it’s never good enough for them. Some workplace bullies simply shut you out. For example, they won’t tell you when there’s a meeting among employees (where important information may be dispersed), then blame you for not knowing the proper procedure or course of action when the time comes to use that information or training on the job.

There is the boss bully, the person who controls whether or not you keep your job. This type of bully feels that you are required to agree with them about everything they do or say (job-related or otherwise), whether they are morally right or wrong. Boss bullies also may attempt to treat you like a puppet and try to force you to do tasks that are abnormal or seemingly only for their amusement.

Whether verbal or cyber, any form of bullying is detrimental to the one being bullied.

WHY PEOPLE BULLY IN THE WORKPLACE

Bullies hardly ever bully because they think they’re bigger and Badder than anyone else. In fact, quite the opposite is true, and they actually have issues with their own confidence. Below are some common reasons as to why people may bully in the workplace.

Lack of Self-Esteem: One of the main reasons that a person bullies is because they are not confident in their own abilities. The way they choose to respond to this incompetence is by being extra aggressive or belittling to others. They are very sensitive to even the smallest comments. Actions or words directed toward them that are even slightly critical of their work performance will very likely be found offensive. This is one reason some workplace bullies act out the way they do, they feel threatened by their coworkers who outperform them.

It may be a boss who is doing the bullying; they may feel threatened by a worker who is doing an excellent job; someone who could potentially replace them.

A Need to Control: Bullies can be controlling. One way they measure their productivity is by pushing others around, and by talking down to them. This person may not necessarily be someone who does the hiring and firing; they may be same-level coworkers trying hard to impress the boss. This type of bully wants the boss to see that they are in charge of workplace activities and that they are in control of their fellow employees. In a bully’s mind, this is the type of behavior they think will eventually get them promoted.

Being Bullied: Instinctively, a person will know when they are being bullied simply because of the way they feel. A workplace bully may try to make their victims feel isolated. For example, an entire office knows about a new rule, but one person isn’t informed. When that person breaks that rule (one that they didn’t even know about in the first place), they get punished for it.

A workplace bully may also try to make their victim do impossible tasks; or give them so much work to do that they could not possibly meet a deadline. When the deadline is not met, the bully may shout at the worker in front of other people, making them feel horrible and embarrassed. A bullying victim may let Human Resources know about this situation, but HR may suggest trying to work the problem out with the person. This approach will not likely be helpful, especially if the bully is in a higher position than the victim. The victimized worker feels they may lose their job if what they say to the bully is perceived as insubordinate.

A Toxic Work EnvironmentA toxic work environment can feed into a cycle of workplace bullying. This can stem from anything from unhealthy power dynamics to gossip to poor communication. If employees feel burnt out or unhappy in the workplace due to toxicity in the workplace, it can cause further decreases in self-esteem or a need to regain control, which can lead to bullying in the workplace.

WHAT TO DO IF YOU ARE BEING BULLIED IN THE WORKPLACE

Would you know if you were being bullied at work by a co-worker? And if you were, what would you do about it? Below are our tips for what to do when you feel that you are being bullied in the workplace.

Seek Support: After being bullied at work, you may feel hesitant to seek support due to embarrassment or shame. It’s important to remember that personal health (physical and mental) should be prioritized when dealing with these types of situations, especially if they had been going on for a long period of time. It’s okay to see medical professionals, mental health specialists, or to seek therapy. It is important to not isolate yourself.

Speak Up: Speaking up to a bully is likely the hardest thing for a victimized employee to do. Confronting your bully alone is a good method to get straight to the point. In this conversation, the victim should be completely honest with the bully about how the situation affects them. If this private conversation doesn’t work, and the bully doesn’t back off, then the next step would be to talk to upper management.

Document/Report: Documenting incidences of workplace bullying can help you better identify it. Being able to provide evidence of consistent bullying will help you build a case when you report it. If you don’t know who to report workplace bullying too, you should ask your human resources department, supervisor, or even just a trusted colleague.

WHAT TO DO IF YOU WITNESS SOMEONE BEING BULLIED AT WORK

The actions you take when you witness someone being bullied are just as important as the ones you take when you are getting bullied in the workplace. Below are some things to consider when you see someone in your workplace get bullied:

Support Victim: If you find yourself sitting on the sidelines overhearing or even bearing witness to someone being bullied on the job, the best thing that you can do initially is pull that victim to the side and ask them if they realize that they are being bullied. It’s important to establish this knowledge because sometimes they may not even realize that the way someone is continuously aggravating them, isolating them, gossiping about them, or treating them badly in other ways is actually labeled as workplace bullying and that actions should be taken to stop it.

Document/Report: When you witness the bullying, pull the victimized person to the side and encourage them to document these incidents. They may be hesitant to do so, but let them know that without proof there will be no record or building of a case against the bully. Offer to help them as a witness or to support them when they report the case to a supervisor.

CONCLUSION

Workplace bullying happens a lot more than people actually realize. It doesn’t just affect the person being bullied, but can make the entire workplace toxic. A strong first step to reducing this behavior in the workplace is providing effective training. Get a head start on this with our Workplace Bullying Workshop today!

Determine Your Training Needs – A Complete Guide

Determine Your Training Needs – A Complete Guide

Have you ever felt like you could see the potential of providing corporate training, but didn’t quite know where to start?

One of the first steps of providing corporate training is deciding what training topic you want to cover.

This is a mindful process that requires time and attention to get right.

Below is our detailed guide to conducting a needs analysis to determine what kind of training workshop you should conduct

PERFORMING A NEEDS ANALYSIS

In order to help you identify your training needs, the first thing to look at is how to perform a needs analysis. This will provide you with the answers to a few basic questions and help you to understand your audience. This research will help you develop a basic outline that can then be used to help create your training program.

A needs analysis is performed when there is a lack of knowledge, skills, or attitude that is negatively affecting a group of employees, customers, etc. It is the process of identifying and evaluating training that should be done to improve a current situation. Challenges are defined and opportunities noted; a needs analysis will help the trainer set goals and priorities and decide which method to use to deliver the message. The information gathered will become the basis of a well-delivered workshop.

The results of the research will help to answer the following questions:

  • Who is the audience with the problem or need for change?
  • What tasks and subtasks does an expert perform to a work process?
  • What gaps exist between experts, average, and poor performers of a work process?
  • How do we translate the needs into objectives to promote a positive learning outcome?

1. WHO IS THE AUDIENCE WITH THE PROBLEM OR NEED FOR CHANGE?

The first step in conducting a needs analysis is asking yourself what you know about your audience. Your audience should determine the content and approach of your training. Find out what they know; use their words and terms and better your understanding of where your trainees are at.

Understanding your audience also helps you determine what training format may be best. A group of youth interested in entrepreneurship won’t experience the same presentation as a group of senior entrepreneurs.

Ask yourself:

  • What is the aim of my training?
  • What do I want the audience to do after my presentation?
  • What will your audience learn?
  • What happens afterwards?
  • What outcomes should be expected?
  • What changes in the workplace should occur?
  • Who will implement these changes?

These are all questions you should ask yourself when better understanding your audience. Continually referring to these questions as you build your needs analysis (and training workshop in general) will help you stay on track and focused.

2. WHAT TASKS AND SUBTASKS DOES AN EXPERT PERFORM TO A WORK PROCESS?

In order to be able to provide contextual training, you must understand the roles of your trainees. Learning the objectives of your trainees and their process for meeting them gives you the ability to list their tasks and subtasks.

For example: Consider this in the context of a call center. Although the call center reps are empowered to assist customers, several are not solving callers’ product problems. Instead, they are passing them on to the Escalation Desk, creating a bottleneck, and unhappy customers. The needs analysis identified a task called “Resolve customer complaints”. Some of its tasks/subtasks are:

  • Handling a Call
  • Answer call
  • Listen to customer’s problem
  • Express empathy for the trouble
  • Open a new support ticket
  • Resolve the complaint per the list of allowable resolutions
  • Documenting Call Resolution
  • Document the resolution in the call notes
  • Close support ticket

While some of this information may be common knowledge to you, don’t assume someone else’s tasks/subtasks. Make sure you communicate with employees and let them tell you their tasks/subtasks. Getting this info directly from the source ensures you aren’t misinterpreting certain aspects of their roles and that you didn’t forget any crucial tasks that could help you better identify their needs.

3. WHAT GAPS EXIST BETWEEN EXPERTS, AVERAGE, AND POOR PERFORMERS OF A WORK PROCESS?

So, you have identified the problem and the people involved in the process where issues are arising. You have communicated with them to understand the tasks and sub-tasks involved.

Now it is time to identify the gaps. Consider the experience level of all the employees involved. Do some people have higher levels of training/expertise than others?

Note what systems are being used that may be out of date or less than efficient. Are there new systems that your team should be trained in?

Think about what employees are involved in this process but may not be communicating with each other. Is a lack of communication causing preventable mistakes or deadlines not being met?

Even better, ask the employees involved some of the following questions to also identify gaps:

  • What are the department needs?
  • What are some problems your department is experiencing?
  • How long has this been a problem?
  • What would indicate to you that the problem has been solved?

Once you have evaluated this, simply note the gaps you see in the processes that are contributing to the problem. If you are having difficulty finding these gaps, or are worried you missed something, consider explaining to a third party the process, the tasks/subtasks, and the people involved. Get them to ask you critical questions and see if they can poke any holes in it. If you can’t adequately answer certain questions or account for their critiques, those may be areas to examine for gaps.

4. HOW DO WE TRANSLATE THE NEEDS INTO OBJECTIVES TO PROMOTE A POSITIVE LEARNING OUTCOME?

Now that we have identified the gaps, we can finally set our objectives and identify our specific training needs.

How can we fill the gaps we found in your organization’s processes? Fortunately, since we have done all our prep work to identify these, the objections should be fairly clear by now. For example:

If the gaps lie in inconsistent training levels between employees, perhaps there are employees that need to receive training that others already have. Or maybe a refresher training session is required.

If the gaps lie in outdated or inefficient systems, it may be time to revamp these and give everyone updated training on the new system/policies.

If the gaps lie in a lack of communication, then soft skills training will help your employees improve their communication skills, emotional intelligence, and teamwork skills.

Translating the gaps and needs of your team into objectives will ensure better learning outcomes for your training.

CONCLUSION

One of the best parts of conducting a needs analysis is that once it is done, it has likely produced much of the supporting content required to build your training program. So, if you are hesitant to do a complete needs analysis, remember how much time it will save you later, and how much better your training will be for it.

We hope that our outline for conducting a needs analysis will help you better understand your training needs.

Posted by Katelyn Roy, Corporate Training

Running Your First Training Workshop? Ease your nerves with our tips and tricks

nervous man

nervous manIf you’re reading this, it means you are probably finally scheduled to conduct your first training workshop.

Or perhaps you are getting back into training after a hiatus.

Or maybe you are just looking to brush up on your training skills and confidence.

Regardless of your situation, we all get a little nervous time to time when it comes to presenting information to others. As a trainer, being the “expert” in the room can be intimidating. But it doesn’t have to be. Below are our tips and tricks for easing your nerves when running your training sessions.

Delivering Training

PREPARATION IS KEY

This may be the number one way to ease nerves when delivering your first training session. And the reality of this blog post is that many of the tips and tricks boil down to this one simple concept: preparation. By reviewing and developing training content ahead of time, we increase our familiarity with it. Familiarity decreases nerves. If you go into your training workshop with a clear and comprehensive knowledge of your content and how you want to deliver it, you will significantly reduce any fear of the unknown, because you have eliminated it. There’s no doubt that preparation for a training workshop is time consuming, and a lot of work, but it will be worth it when you are able to confidently deliver your training. And luckily, our training materials allow you to have a strong baseline for your content to jumpstart your workshops.

CONDUCT A TRAINING NEEDS ANALYSIS

Employee training is sometimes an obvious solution to fixing an organizational challenge. But ensuring you are training on the correct topics is crucial to making your workshop worthwhile. Sometimes training can be a quick and simple solution to overcoming organizational challenges, but it is important that it is done strategically and with intention. If you can understand the needs of your trainees, you can give them impactful, captivating training that you can feel confident in. Conducting a training needs analysis will help you ensure that you are deliver training that is actually conducive to fulfilling your organizational needs.

CONSIDER YOUR STRUCTURE

Structuring your training ahead of time will be your roadmap to successful training. Having an agenda for your training session can help you stay on track and even keep your trainees more engaged. By having a structure, you can provide preview statements. Preview statements let your trainees know how you will present your information overtime. An example of a preview statement is:

  • “First I will define Unconscious Bias, then we will spend ten minutes describing ways it may come up in the workplace, finally, I will go over how to create an Unconscious Bias awareness plan for your workplace.”

Making these statements using transitional words such as “First, second, third” or “Then, next, finally” and providing timelines keeps your audience in the loop on what is to come and can actually keep them more engaged throughout the training session. It also mentally prepares them to take in the information and can increase knowledge retention.

Considering your structure also means deciding what to include in your training to make it interactive. This could be through breakout rooms, gamification, quizzes, etc.

Another simple way to structure your training workshops is through asking questions. This is more than simply asking if your trainees have any questions. Consider check-up questions pertaining to the training as well. Questions could be as simple as:

  • “Has anyone ever heard the term unconscious bias before?”
  • “A few minutes ago, we went over signs of unconscious bias in the workplace. What was one of those signs?”
  • “Does anyone want to share how their last job handled unconscious bias?”

These simple knowledge checks throughout invite trainees to share their experiences and compare and contrast different ideas being taught. Starting with simple one-word questions then moving into questions that require more discussion will ease your trainees into meaningful conversation that complements your training.

BE PERSONABLE

When providing training for the first time, it can feel much easier to simply stick to the script of your training. When nerves are high, it can be intimidating to go off the path you’ve have had time to prepare and revise and feel confident in. However, being personable with your trainees, while it can require you to go a little off script, can be very helpful in building trust and rapport. It can be as simple as starting your session with some conversation. And it doesn’t even have to start with conversation on the training topics. Start by asking about their weekend, or their hobbies. Share things about yourself to contribute to the conversation and encourage them to do the same. This informal practice may seem trivial, but it accomplishes a few different things. It can open up the door to conversation and allows your trainees to feel safe talking about anything, including the training content. It also builds momentum for a conversational tone throughout the entire training session. If you make sure your trainees feel welcome to speak up at any time in the presentation, creates more engagement and allows you to get more feedback on your training. Furthermore, this eases any nerves for both the trainees and you as the trainer. By breaking the ice with these more approachable conversation topics, you can ease your way into topics relating to the training content by asking about their position in the workplace, their work experience, and how they most prefer to be trained. Making your participants comfortable with opening up in lower stakes conversations will make them more likely to open up in more advanced conversations pertaining to your training.

Another way to be more personable in your training workshops is through adding commentary to your training. If you are working off of premade training materials and PowerPoint Slides like ours, consider going beyond your reference materials to provide personal input. This could include the importance of certain parts of your training, how it may be relevant to your trainees’ roles, or personal stories of how it has impacted your professional life.

Remember, your commentary is the value you provide to the trainees. It’s the purpose of having you stand up there and deliver the training, rather than simply having everyone read the content themselves. This conversational tone is what will make your workshops memorable.

TRUST YOUR INSTINCTS

Like we said earlier, when you are delivering training to a group of employees, you are the “expert” in the room. To get to where you are, you have built some creditability and have developed a strong awareness of the topic you are training on. Despite all this, a lack of confidence in trainers is all too familiar. This can lead to imposture syndrome, which can result in underexplaining your training content due to low confidence, which will make your training less effective. Building confidence may be the most important step other than preparation in easing your nerves for your first training workshop (mind you, preparation builds confidence, so they go hand in hand).  The reality is that you are the trainer, and your input means something. Be sure to remember that going in and the confidence will grow overtime with experience.

LEARN FROM YOUR MISTAKES

It is crucial to give yourself grace when conducting training for the first time (or when doing anything for the first time for that matter). In your first training session – and probably in training sessions to come – there will be moments where things don’t go according to plan. Even if you have done everything listed above to help prepare you, there will still be external circumstances that may impact the delivery of your training. Once you accept this and willingly prepare to have to sometimes solve problems on the fly, you will confidently be able to deliver your training no matter what gets thrown at you. And don’t forget, feedback is your friend.

CONCLUSION

We hope this blog post has helped you feel better equipped to deliver your first training session, or ease your nerves about future training sessions.

Originally posted by Katelyn Roy on