The BBC has today published its “Respect at work report” making for what the Director General calls “some uncomfortable reading.”Trust and respect are two of the BBC values and yet the report finds instances of bullying a real concern, with many managers seen as “untouchable” in the organisation.
There are a number of recommendations from HR as a result of the report. Top of our list would be the actions that take a preventative approach
- The reworking of their bullying and harassment policies is to include specific example of acceptable and unacceptable behaviour
- Teams will be encouraged to discuss the values and what they mean in practice
- Reference to the values will be made more prominent by ensuring they are part of “people discussion/decisions”
But why has it taken a string of sexual harassment cases and a survey like this to reach these conclusions and implement these actions??
Great as these actions are (and they really are good), this should be the sort of thing that all organisations are doing to proactively build a culture of respect and prevent bullying claims ever arising.
Ask yourselves honestly... what would implementing actions like these cost you, in terms of time and money? Really very little.
Compare that to the average cost of dealing with a bullying case... Acas puts it at a conservative £30,000. That is not to mention the reputational damage and the stress for all involved.
Let’s learn from this report – take some positive actions to build a culture of respect in your teams. Implementing even one of recommendations above will make a positive difference.