• Top Tips for Dealing with Workplace Bullies

    Did you deal with bullies when you were in school? From the playground bullies of elementary school to the cliques of high school, kids who pick on other kids are a frustrating reality. If you were excited to leave that all behind when you graduated, you might want to hold off on celebrating. Bullies are nearly as prevalent in the workplace as they are in the schoolyard. In fact, it’s estimated that 60 million Americans deal with bullying each year, and 61 percent of those bullies are bosses. How you deal with workplace bullies can make all the difference in your work environment.

    Workplace bullies come in many different varieties. There’s the aggressive communicator, expressing displeasure loudly all the time, whether it’s by yelling, sending angry emails, or using aggressive body language. Some bullies take their power by disparaging and humiliating others, constantly criticizing and insulting their targets, whether verbally or through email. This type of bully socially isolates people, pointing out their mistakes to others, but taking credit for their work. Some of the most frustrating bullies are those who manipulate others and withhold resources, setting their targets up for failure. There’s also the behind-the-scenes meddler, who pretends to be on a person’s side and yet undermines that person behind his or her back.

    No matter what type of bully you’re encountering, it can make you dread going to work. In fact, nearly half of the people who are targeted by a bully at work experience stress-related problems including anxiety, panic attacks, and clinical depression. Workplace bullying has been defined as “repeated mistreatment of an employee by one or more employees, abusive conduct that is: threatening, humiliating or intimidating, work sabotage or verbal abuse,” according to the Workplace Bullying and Trauma Institute. An estimated 81 percent of employers are perceived as doing nothing to combat bullying, and in fact, 71 percent of employer reactions and 60 percent of coworkers’ reactions are harmful to the targets of bullies. Considering that bullying isn’t illegal if your boss and coworkers are unlikely to help, what can you do about a bully?

    It’s going to take personal courage, but it’s worth it if you’re able to improve the environment of your workplace.

    • Nip it in the bud. If you’re going to stop bullying at your workplace, you need to speak up as soon as possible after it starts. As soon as you feel you’re being mistreated, call the problem to the attention of the person creating it. Explain why it’s a problem, and call to the bully’s values to cast your request for a change in behavior in a positive light. Use assertive body language, and say the person’s name frequently during your exchange. Establish clear expectations, setting limits on what you will tolerate, describing the behavior and offering suggestions for a different way to handle things.
    • Document what’s happening. Keep a journal of what’s happening, and save emails or any other evidence of this bullying behavior, printing things so you have a hard copy as well as digital. If there were any witnesses to an incident, make a note of that, too. Pay attention to how the bully treats your coworkers, and ask them to document things as well. Bullying has a negative impact not just on the person being bullied, but also on the business as a whole, so it’s important to be ready to report it to HR if it doesn’t stop.
    • Practice self-care. Bullying is hard on a person, and if you’re being bullied it can take its toll. Find ways to take care of yourself, spending time with family and friends and participating in activities that make you happy. If you are having trouble handling things, talk to a therapist or counselor, preferably one well-versed in trauma-informed counseling.
    • Familiarize yourself with your company’s policies. Many companies don’t have a formal policy on bullying, but by reading the employee handbook you can find language that explains your organization’s values, as well as what is expected of employees. You might also consider seeking legal advice, especially if your situation qualifies as harassment.
    • Talk to someone with power. Sometimes, ending bullying behavior is as simple as speaking to the boss about it. Unfortunately, sometimes the boss is the bully, in which case you’ll need to go higher. Talk to management and HR, bringing documentation and explaining what you’ve already tried. Plan what you’ll say ahead of time, being specific about actions you’d like management or HR to take.
    • Don’t be afraid to find greener pastures. Unfortunately, most bullying situations lead to the target leaving the job. If you don’t see any resolution forthcoming, it’s smart to polish your resume and start looking at what else is out there, in case things don’t improve.

    If you’re a boss looking to help your team bond and stave off workplace bullying, you might consider holding off-site training sessions. Away from familiar surroundings, in a more relaxed atmosphere, team members can learn together and connect. At Texas Training and Conference Centers, we pride ourselves on providing companies with training facilities that feature high-quality equipment and exceptional service. Our computer labs and other spaces come equipped with internet accessibility, printers and fax machines, Wi-Fi setup, on-site tech support, full projection systems, workstations, whiteboards, and computers furnished with the most cutting edge technology, to ensure that your training event is a success. Soundproof rooms, continental breakfast, and optional catered lunches are just a few of the other ways we provide the little niceties that make a big difference for your event. For the past 18 years, we’ve provided exceptional service to businesses throughout Houston, and we have the expertise to help you make your event a success. To learn more about Texas Training and Conference Centers, call us at 832.982.1708 or contact us through our website.

     

  • How to Multi-Task: Training an Employee

    Training An Employee

    As a manager, you’ve got plenty of responsibilities. You’ve got so many, in fact, that when it’s time to train a new employee it may feel like an annoyance, adding one more thing to your plate. However, since the right training can produce a valuable team member, it’s worth taking the time to do it correctly. The good news? You can do that without having to stop doing your job. Here’s how.

    • Take the time ahead of time to make a plan. First, look at your current workload, and determine your priorities at the moment. What are some of the less important things you’re doing, that you can set aside to give yourself time to focus on training the new employee? Next, create a document that details what you expect from the new employee. Make a copy of this document for yourself, and one for your new hire. Think about:
      • Your goals for the new employee’s first 30, 60, and 90 days
      • Which tasks you expect to delegate to this person
      • Meetings the person will be expected to attend in their first few weeks
      • Information the person needs, including links, calendars, logins, and details about team members and colleagues.
      • Necessary details about projects perhaps gathered from other teammates with whom the new employee will be working.
      • Questions and ideas that you have for the new employee
    • Carve out some space in your calendar. Training a new employee is a time-consuming endeavor, so you should be proactive about setting aside time to do it. Schedule a one-on-one meeting every day during the first week, but also set aside time for training sessions in which you’ll need to be involved. Time management is an essential skill when you’re adding a new responsibility like training, and it pays to use your calendar wisely, putting everything down so that nothing slips between the cracks.
    • Connect with your new hire digitally. Send the person a message on LinkedIn, welcoming him or her to the team. This is also a great way to help get your new employee connected to your professional network. Send an email, too, conveying how happy you are to have a new team member. You can use that email to address important details of the first couple of days, request any necessary information, offer to answer questions, and generally help your new hire be more comfortable in the new office on the very first day.
    • Delegate training tasks and assign a mentor. Your team is an invaluable resource when you’re training someone new. Delegate some of the new hire’s training to people who are comfortable in stepping into a leadership role, because this helps each of your employees develop professionally. In particular, it’s good to assign a mentor or buddy to show your new employee the ropes.
    • Don’t hover. It’s important to check in frequently during the first couple of weeks, but after that, your meetings should taper off. Your employees need to know that you trust them to handle things on their own, so emphasize that you are confident in their problem-solving skills. When you give them space to solve their own problems, you’ll be helping them to become confident, independent professionals.
    • Involve the rest of your team. Getting your new hire up to speed on projects so that he or she can hit the ground running is important, but it’s also important for your team to be Schedule in time for your new employee to get to know his or her colleagues, planning an outing or two like lunch, coffee, or drinks together. Put it on everyone’s calendar ahead of time to make sure everyone’s on board. If you’re hiring more than one employee at once, you might plan a larger event, to help your employees bond and learn to function as a team. You can work in some training sessions, but keep team building the focus, making sure to provide plenty of time that’s free from any discussion of work-related topics.

    If you follow these steps, you can help your new employee adjust to his or her new job without taking time away from yours. The goal, of course, is to have an employee who is a valuable and productive member of the team, quickly jumping in and getting up to speed. When you properly train your new employees, it helps your group to become an effective and unified team.

    One way to strengthen the unity of your group is to hold training sessions off-site, where team members, both established and new, can learn together and form bonds. At Texas Training and Conference Centers, we pride ourselves on providing companies with training facilities that feature high-quality equipment and exceptional service. Our computer labs and other spaces come equipped with internet accessibility, printers and fax machines, Wi-Fi setup, on-site tech support, full projection systems, workstations, whiteboards, and computers furnished with the most cutting edge technology, to ensure that your training event is a success. Soundproof rooms, continental breakfast, and optional catered lunches are just a few of the other ways we provide the little niceties that make a big difference for your event. For the past 18 years, we’ve provided exceptional service to businesses throughout Houston, and we have the expertise to help you make your event a success. To learn more about Texas Training and Conference Centers, call us at 832.982.1708 or contact us through our website.