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Hazing in the Workplace

By Dorothy Bland, writer
Dec 07, 2010
Image Credit: Prostock-Studio / Getty Images
> Human Resources

Address workplace hazing with multiple strategies

Workplace hazing incidents may lead to serious injuries at work, divide the workplace and prevent employees from getting their jobs done. Often workplace hazing incidents go unnoticed or ignored as harmless fun. Some employers assume that hazing is just a bonding experience. However, making that mistake may jeopardize the future of your small business. Incidents of hazing include employees engaging in reckless horseplay, social pressure to participate in unsafe acts, bullying, harassment and violence.

Employers looking to develop effective hazing policies must train their staff to recognize and confront hazing in the workplace. Team building exercises allow staff to work together to solve problems, increase communication and foster group reliance. It’s your responsibility as the business owner to ensure all employees have access to a safe, respectful and harassment free place to work. Consider the following preventive hazing methods in the workplace:

1. Create a workplace hazing policy to ensure management and staff recognize incidents of what workplace hazing.

2. Reinforce your policy about hazing in the workplace with materials to show unsafe behaviors.

3. Build trust and help employees form bonds with team building exercises.

Develop and design workplace hazing policies

Protect your small business by making it clear that hazing and harassment are unacceptable. Learn best practices and implement strategies that managers and employees can adopt.

Clearly communicate your workplace hazing policy

Keep staff focused on the consequences of hazing in the workplace. List unacceptable behaviors and post them for employees to increase awareness. Also use posters, materials and targeted training videos to show the danger in hazing incidents.

Handle workplace hazing to teach team building skills

Small businesses often discover hazing in the workplace when employees are unable to communicate with each other. Team building exercises teach employees how to trust each other and forms group bonds without the danger and fear found in workplace hazing.
Boston University Sargent Center for Outdoor Education are offered onsite, through mobile GPS or in your office.
  • Protect your small business budget by disseminating hazing in the workplace information before it gets out of hand. Employees can file workers compensation claims for injuries caused by hazing.
  • If you find hazing in the workplace you must act swiftly to address it.
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Dorothy Bland
Dorothy Bland
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