Over the past several years bullying and harassment in the workplace has received increasingly focussed attention. Whether this is because the prevalence of this type of behaviour has increased or the mechanisms and attitudes towards it have changed is a topic for discussion. Either way, for owners of small to medium enterprises, managing this area can be extremely problematical.
This is a complex area and there are many factors which can impact on the likelihood that an issue will present itself. In smaller businesses where fewer employees are the norm the management ‘style’ and personality of the business owner, who often works directly in the business themselves, can have a direct and powerful impact on the overall ‘culture’ of a business for good or bad.
The overall workplace ‘Culture’ within a business can itself be the determiner of whether an environment that tolerates, or even actively supports bullying behaviours exists. Management style, cultural background, gender balance and emotional intelligence are only 4 factors that can have a direct influence on overall workplace ‘culture’.