Recruitment and HR Blog
Robust Management or Bullying: How are you managing employee performance?
On Wednesday 7th June JVP Group hosted a webinar with employment law specialist Elissa Thursfield of Hroes: The Virtual Workplace to explore the complex issues relating to what constitutes robust management - and when those behaviours could start to become bullying.
Despite several high-profile cases relating to politicians and other public figures, the issue of where the line lies between robust management behaviours and bullying can sometimes be difficult to identify in practice. At a time when several reports are revealing that employers and employees are becoming more polarised in their beliefs on robust management, the level of risk in the workplace is increasing. That is a sentiment that was confirmed in the webinar itself with 51% of attendees responding in a poll that they are nervous and have concerns about potential accusations of bullying against their managers.
To help address this risk, Elissa provided definitions on three key behaviour styles to be aware of.
These definitions provide a useful starting point to understand the styles that managers are routinely adopting and to identify whether their behaviours could pose any risks. Questions to ask include:
Can managers handle difficult behaviours?
Are they guilty of micro-management?
Are they able to identify repetitive issues?
Do they make time to manage?
What are they doing to motivate staff?
Do they consider individuals’ personal wellbeing?
Every manager has the responsibility to demonstrate through their actions that they are following business guidelines and are able to demonstrate robust management practices.
The right management behaviours can be demonstrated through communication. Elissa’s tips to help all managers improve communication and develop a more positive style include:
“It is not about what you say but how you say it…
Think before you speak
Focus on the issue, not the person
Get to the point, but consider how you are saying it - be constructive
Consider your channel of communication
Do your emails read as abrupt?
Is a text message really appropriate?
What is your in-person manner like?”
These are some of the behaviours and actions that all managers should adopt as part of a robust management style:
Encouraging your managers to follow these types of behaviours will help them to manage employees in a positive and robust way, and reduce the risk of facing any claims of discrimination and constructive dismissal.