Bullies in the workplace cost employers a substantial amount of resources. Work Happy Now had a great idea–an ombudsman to listen to your employees’ complaints and act as an intermediary to help resolve conflicts. The post explains the potential benefits:
An Ombudsman could help a company see mistakes from the employees’ point of view. Let’s say a company tries to restructure the organization, and perhaps an employee sees a potential problem, but they are afraid to tell management. Employees are more likely to see a different type of problem because they are closer to the day to day operations. For instance they might recognize that a group of customers could become neglected by the restructuring. This employee could voice his opinion to the Ombudsman without fear of being fired or discovered for his dissenting views.
This sounds like a great bully-fighting strategy, too. Often, employees want to speak up about the bullying behavior of a Jerk at Work. But, often, employees have been bullied into silence and are scared to report the bully for fear of retaliation.
An ombudsman could eliminate those fears. If employees felt certain that their reports would be kept in strict confidence and told only to the persons who could (and would) address the problem. Is this a viable solution for employers to use in the counter-attack against bullies in the workplace?
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