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An effective resource to help you stamp out bullying and harassment in the workplace

The viewer sees negative reactions to issues such as flexible working and the adverse impact of office banter

Date: 12 October 2006

Title: Bully Beware!

Producer: Angel Productions

Price: £1,200 (or available to rent)

 

This informative new DVD set is a welcome training package for any organisation that is serious about combating or preventing a culture of bullying and harassment in the workplace.

 

The first programme, designed for all staff, provides an overview of what constitutes harassing and bullying behaviour. This is illustrated by a number of office-based scenarios.

 

The programme cleverly steers away from more typical examples of bullying and harassment linked to race or disability discrimination. Instead, the viewer sees negative reactions to issues such as flexible working and the adverse impact of office banter, both of which make up a significant part of our day-to-day working culture. 

 

As well as defining bullying and harassment, the first DVD outlines the impact this can have on staff performance and the organisation as a whole. Viewers are encouraged to think about their own behaviour and question the behaviour of others. The DVD focuses on what an organisation's policies and procedures should look like in order to uphold dignity at work.

 

This section concludes with advice on how best to take personal action in tackling bullying and harassment, and depicts how office life should be once the inappropriate behaviour has ceased. 

 

The second and third programmes are tailored specifically for managers. Looking at a more serious case of bullying, they focus successfully on how best to take early and informal action and, where this is not possible, how to take formal action, concentrating on the role of an investigator and counter-complaints.

 

Managers are asked to consider whether they have exhausted all possible avenues for resolving problems informally before formal action becomes essential. They are encouraged to take a more proactive role in preventing minor claims escalating to formal investigations and employment tribunal hearings.

 

Throughout the training programme, the role-plays are repeated or progressed, making it easier for the underlying messages to resonate with the viewer.

 

My only criticisms are that the programme failed to explore issues such as victimisation and malicious or false allegations, particularly the impact these may have on those in managerial roles.

 

The programme would also have benefited from describing the role of a confidential harassment adviser and the positive impact they can have on the working environment. 

 

Packaged with a strong practitioner focus, this training kit will serve as an effective guide, either as part of an existing training course or as a stand-alone resource, to help combat a very serious yet familiar problem in many organisations. 

 

 

Carolyn Solomon-Pryce

Principal diversity officer and manager of the bullying and harassment programme at Brent Council