In the UK, there is presently no single piece of legislation which deals with workplace bullying. Bullying is currently covered by a range of other laws including: The Equality Act 2010, The Employment Rights Act 1996 and Protection from Harassment Act 1998.
Companies of all sizes, and in countless countries across the globe, now appear to be hastily seeking solutions to address what is still far too common an issue. This new sense of urgency is likely due to the rising threats of legal action, lawsuits and fines being applied to companies who are not demonstrably tackling bullying and harassment in the workplace.
Having been invited to address these issues for companies the other side of the world (literally), we have found that the TEAM ME® profiling methodology is extremely effective in not only teaching employees about their innate personal motivations, but also effective in identifying individuals most likely to be involved, both the perpetrators and the victims of such harassment.
Using our online profiling tool, which requires no more than 90 seconds of input from each of the employees, we are able to map typical behaviours from the viewpoint of the individuals’ innate motivations. What’s more, all this can all be done remotely: no interviews, no past performance reports, no observation or monitoring required.
From this data we are able to highlight individuals who are the most likely to engage in bullying behaviours, as well as those who are most likely to be victims of such behaviour.
We are careful, however, not to point the finger. It’s quite possible that the individuals highlighted in the reports have already found ways to redirect their energies into productive, healthy behaviours - an approach we recommend for those whose behaviours are presently still unacceptable.
Ultimately, the profiling results helps to have productive conversations with and can especially be helpful in the assessment of newcomers.
The immediate archetypal characters to focus on, as depicted in the cover image to this post, are the Warrior and Lover. Warriors have a forceful energy that can be very constructive but can come over as too aggressive and uncaring of others. Lovers have a desire to maintain harmony and may not enforce healthy boundaries in their personal and professional relationships.
The Culture of Bystanders
A further dimension that has proven to be extremely valuable is the profiling of bystanders; those who are neither known to be perpetrators nor victims of harassment.
The influence of these individuals is extremely important to the overall company culture, and highlighting the typical responses of different character types has helped to educate the teams on some of the negative dynamics that are being perpetuated and helped create a far more supportive culture all around.
Beyond the Bullying
Issues of harassment and bullying are, of course, only one potential area that we can address with these employee profiles.
A host of team dynamics can easily be explained through the interpretation of the data gathered, information which is extremely valuable to team leaders and managers as they seek to optimise the performance of their teams, improving cooperation and collaboration as well as assigning the most suitable people to the tasks required.
Optimising team performance in itself contributes to a more cooperative culture and helps those with strong Warrior energy to steer their focus onto tasks and projects that would benefit from their contribution.
Overall, the TEAM ME® program is able to put hard numbers to soft issues - providing extremely valuable insights into why, exactly, employees typically do what they do. The clarity this provides fosters self-awareness, an appreciation of one’s own strengths and respect for the contributions that others provide.
As we continue to help people understand their innate design, their natural tendencies and ways to channel these strengths towards more positive outcomes we’ll see companies foster more productive, and more pleasant, workplace cultures that will not only make them more enjoyable places to work but will avoid a host of negative outcomes in terms of financial loss and loss of reputation.
Pad is a trusted adviser to business leaders across the globe. He is Director at Come Alive Success Coaching ltd. and the Author of TEAM ME - How to Play Your Best Game in Life, and TEAM GUY - Forging Men of Soul & Steel.