Case Studies

Bullying

The issue:

A individual contacted their Guardians with a complex concern described as bullying. The individual worked in a department that had a dominant ingroup based on ethnicity. The dominant group were effectively practising exclusion of others. 

This exclusion extended to access to training, promotion and even shift arrangements. There were occasions where the dominant group conversed in their native language again as a means of exclusion of others in the department. The contacting individual informed the Guardian that they had tried many times to raise the issue but were ignored and their concerns not taken seriously. 

In some instances raising the concern further exacerbated the issues of exclusion by the ingroup. At the time of contact the individual reported very low morale and stress feeling that their value was being destroyed by this behaviour and that they were unable to make a full contribution to their role and job. The contact was also concerned with the level of staff attrition due to the behaviour of the ingroup. 

The outcome:

The Guardian helped the individual to rebuild their confidence in the organization and that in escalating the concern through the Guardian they would be heard, and action would be taken. The guardian escalated to HR who initially added further to the complexity of the situation in reporting that the staff survey was not indicating such behaviour was apparent tin the department. The size of the dominant ingroup was effectively skewing the results of the survey as a positive work environment.

HR on the feedback form the Guardian immediately initiated an examination of the situation holding listening sessions with all staff, including attending during night shifts to ensure all voices were heard. Having identified and verified that the issue was a concern they implemented a series of focus group sessions with all staff in the department reviewing their findings and working to agree action plans and behavioural changes with all staff. 

The contacting individual subsequently confirmed that change had taken place for the batter and in particular was very encouraged by the response of HR that any future such concerns would be heard and dealt with. This issue would not have come to the attention of HR without the Guardian process being available.

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