This is one of the recommendations from the ‘unit, trust and local education provider’ section of the RCOG/RCM undermining toolkit.
The employer’s responsibilities
Each trust/hospital will have a policy on dignity at work, bullying and harassment. All information should be highlighted at induction and all staff made aware of how to report poor behaviour. However, it’s preferable to resolve problems at department level before trust policies need to be invoked.
The Dignity At Work Policy produced by the HSE Employers Agency states that adequate resources must be made available to promote respect and dignity in the workplace and to deal effectively with complaints of bullying and harassment. There is a similar imperative across the UK, and there is redress in law for employees who suffer harassment.
Formal policies and procedures must outline the organisation’s explicit commitment to tackling bullying and promoting a positive workplace environment. This commitment should include training for leaders and managers, since tackling inappropriate workplace behaviour is integral to induction and appraisal. There is evidence that such measures (including follow-up action where individuals are identified, investigated and disciplined) can reduce the incidence of bullying and undermining.
Good communication of policies and procedures is important, but it is paramount that all employees are aware of and buy in to their own responsibility to create a working environment free from bullying and harassment.