Can your CEO intervene to stop bullying in the workplace?

Clashes in the workplace are nothing new, and while preventing them may not be in the usual scope of CEO responsibilities, the leader of your company can take steps to reduce aggressive behavior. The head of any business has the power to set the standard for everyone else in the company, and in the case of bullying, it might be necessary.

In a study conducted by David Maxfield of VitalSmarts, just 4 percent of more than 2,200 workers polled had not been bullied: The rest had experienced it in some form or another, whether physical or verbal. Though physical intimidation seems to be the least common form in the workplace, the fact that it exists at all should set off alarm bells.

CEOs do not escape blame in this, though, according to an anonymous employee cited in a press release on the study. The individual, from an unnamed company, described bad behavior coming straight from the chief executive.

"He threw things, slammed things, and forced quitting employees to a 'walk of shame' around the office," this commenter said. "Everyone feared standing up to him, including his own wife, who also worked here."

Employees have tools at their disposal to fight back when a CEO acts up in this manner: They can collaborate with fellow employees, protest and even reduce the amount of effort they put into their work. The CEO, on the other hand, must maintain awareness of the company culture and actively discourage bullying among lower-level staff.

This can be a difficult skill to measure in an incoming candidate, but a recruitment consultant who has extensive experience can help an organization find a CEO who will lead by example.

Finding people is easy, but finding the RIGHT people is not. YES Partners helps companies FIND the right people – for all company functions, across many industries and globally.

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