Home / Resources / Bullying behaviours – tips to stop toxic cultures developing

Bullying behaviours – tips to stop toxic cultures developing

Research shows that despite the continued move to remote working, bullying allegations are rising.  Is it a signal that leaders aren’t trained to be alert in spotting and managing bullying behaviours remotely?

We look at the evidence and offer 8 tips to help stop toxic work cultures developing through remote and hybrid working.

At first glance, we might assume that the recent rise in remote working would have resulted in a reduction in cases of bullying at work.  Yet, recent analysis by two employment law firms suggests that the increased use of apps, online messaging and meetings may be resulting in a rise in the occurrence of bullying and incivility at work.

Research released over the summer by the employment and partnership law specialists, Fox and Partners, revealed that the number of employment tribunals lodged which cite allegations of bullying has increased to a record high from 581 (March 20/21) to 835 (March 21/22) – a rise of 44%.  The firm has suggested it may be a strong indication that leadership teams are not successfully addressing an escalation in toxic work cultures.

In a separate piece of research by specialist employment law firm GQ Littler, the number of employment tribunal claims relating to workplace ‘banter’ increased from 67 in 2020 to 97 in 2021 – a 45% increase.  The firm say that ‘banter’ is being increasingly used as “justification for alleged discrimination and harassment”.

Sadly, both sets of statistics make worrying reading.  Allegations of bullying, harassment and incivility at work are detrimental in so many ways for everyone involved, both personally and to an organisation's culture and reputation.  We have created the following infographic with the aim that it may create awareness, start a conversation, and instigate actions to stop toxic work cultures from developing through remote working.

 

An infographic listing 8 tips to stop toxic work culture developing through remote working

 

Some recent reviews from our training on tackling bullying in the workplace:

After a half-day Bullying in the Workplace: Training for Managers course,
“The training boosted my knowledge, taught me new management techniques and made a persuasive case as to why this matters.”

From a virtual Bullying in the Workplace: Training for Managers course,
“The realisation that anyone can be subjected to bullying, and anyone can offend others with their own behaviours without this knowledge.  A great course to create positive change.”

Following a 90minute session entitled ‘Bullying & Harassment - What you need to know’,
“A very useful and informative session. it should be a mandatory course for all staff including managers, directors and those in charge of policies.”

 

Some further reading from our blog relating to tackling harassment and bullying at work:

 

Infographic transcription

Bullying Behaviours - 8 tips to stop toxic cultures developing through remote working.

Leaders be aware - are leadership teams alert to problematic behaviours which may not be obvious in remote or hybrid working environments?

Spotting behaviours online - look out for sharp remarks in video meetings, a colleague being excluded from calls, the use of messaging apps to chat while others are presenting or talking.

Bullying can be invisible - behaviours such as blocking paths to promotion and being set up to fail may not be obvious but can be present in toxic work cultures.

Encourage inclusion - create a culture where colleagues are listened to, not embarrassed, can speak up, share concerns and admit mistakes without recrimination.

Psychological safety - leaders should ensure both confidentiality and clear paths of 2-way communication so that ideas and opinions can be freely aired, as well as politely challenged.

Be proactive - train senior staff in providing feedback especially if now being offered online, provide guides that can be referred to.

Training to improve working culture - bullying at work awareness training can help to protect and support colleagues and reinforce the importance of having and using workplace policies.

Address workplace concerns - if concerns are detected ensure support is available and offered immediately e.g. coaching, mentoring and wellbeing programmes.

 

Recent articles on our blog....

A black and white keyboard with the word newsletter and an envelope image replacing the enter key

Spring 2024 newsletter includes a movement tip & other resources

May 28, 2024

The latest edition of our quarterly workplace wellbeing newsletter includes a movement tip for working hours and many other resources.

Read More →
A row of well thumbed cream coloured paper folders

Workplace wellbeing resources – some helpful recent additions

May 16, 2024

Our latest collection of external resources to help workplace wellbeing includes guidance and recommendations relating to a range of topics – autism employment, ensuring EDI is for everyone, information sharing in mental health emergencies at work, menopause in the workplace and women at work.

Read More →
Group of people working around a desk beside a cork board with coloured notes

Why we should focus on minimising employee illbeing to aid workplace wellbeing

May 16, 2024

This post begins with some research which concludes that efforts to improve wellbeing at work are directed too narrowly. It then goes on to highlight some courses that can help employers looking to minimise employee illbeing in the workplace. They present opportunities to explore strategies that can enhance a culture of psychological safety and trust.

Read More →

Testimonials

ineq-about-us-150x150

Our purpose is to provide training and consultancy services to enhance resilience, health and wellbeing in the workplace.

ineq-ethos-values-150x150

Differentiation is one of the most strategic and tactical activities in which companies most constantly engage

ineq-faqs-150x150

It's natural to have questions about training and how it fits with your organisation. Our FAQs can help you find out more.

ineq-case-studies-150x150

View case studies for some of the in-house training courses we have delivered to different types of organisations across the UK.