May 19, 2007

Dignity at Work, HEIs - UK

In large, complex organisations such as HEIs, conflict between staff, students and visitors will inevitably occur from time to time. The key is for organisations to recognise this and to take steps to deal with issues that arise in an appropriate and timely manner. This research has identified a number of important criteria for tackling bullying and harassment in the workplace effectively.

• Senior management support is vital – those institutions that promote dignity at work most effectively have a proactive and committed senior management team.

• The business case for tackling bullying and harassment must be articulated effectively and understood within the institution. Institutions need to be more effective at identifying the costs and benefits, both of introducing dignity-at-work initiatives and of failing to do so. A ‘virtuous circle’ of continuous improvement in relation to dignity at work should be developed and promoted.

• Dignity at work must be established as a core value of the organisation and thus become a basic right for all. It should form part of the institution’s strategic objectives, and should become embedded in all its strategic developments.

• Organisational factors can create problems in relation to dignity at work; bullying and harassment do not always occur because of personal differences between individuals.

• Working in partnership with trades unions to develop a culture in which bullying and harassment are treated seriously and tackled effectively can be beneficial.

• Dignity-work policies should be comprehensive, but easily understood and accessed by all staff within the organisation.

• Institutions should emphasise the importance of early intervention and the use of informal dispute-resolution procedures to minimise damage for all concerned, and should explore less adversarial routes of conflict resolution such as mediation.

• Services such as harassment networks and mediation should be supported by effective communication and rigorous training.

• Institutions need to develop good monitoring and evaluation systems for such services. Provision should be regularly reviewed to ensure it continues to be appropriate.

• Institutions should make every effort to provide a range of support services for staff, to ensure they meet the needs of people from a range of backgrounds and with different needs.

• Managers should be well trained, and encouraged to seek support if they are encountering difficulties with staff management issues. A blame culture, and one that encourages reward by results, by whatever means, will be detrimental to the institution’s efforts in tackling bullying and harassment.

• Finally, institutions should be encouraged to work towards becoming a model workplace in which all staff are treated fairly, and dignity at work is effectively and continually promoted.
From: Dignity at Work, Final project Report, Equality Challenge Unit, April 2007

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

While this blog is becoming the platform to name and shame many bullying and corrupted managers, I wish to give credit to Prof. Peter Grant from Edinburgh University who displayed the highest levels of integrity when dealing with a complaint against someone quite senior to myself.