You’re working or volunteering with a non-profit organization, not in the dog-eat-dog business world. So the dynamics in your office should be all about happy teamwork and selfless cooperation towards a common cause, right?
Not necessarily so.
The reality is, any workplace will bring together good guys and trolls alike – people of differing strengths and weaknesses, all types of personalities, each with her or his own personal and professional agenda to pursue as well as your common mission.
Non-profit organizations are not magically exempt from rankism and harassment, especially with workplace bullying on the rise – a side-effect of tough economic times, as the Vancouver Sun reports:
Marilynn Balfour, director of career resources for Bowen Workforce Solutions in Calgary, says competition in the office heats up as people get concerned about their job security, emotions run high and people react in different ways. ... The amount of organizational change that's happened in the past year or so – layoffs, budget cuts, increased workloads – has all added up to a bullying problem as employees struggled to cope.
Managing Conflict in the Workplace
Where to start? Mazarine Treyz of Wild Woman Fundraising has put together a great presentation to help people learn the warning signs of workplace bullying – specifically, the abuse of power that comes with rankism – and what you can do about it.
Help! My boss doesn't listen to me! on Prezi
For more information:
Here are a few more resources you might want to share with your colleagues and board, to help ensure that your workplace is – and continues to be – safe and welcoming and productive place for all:
- 20 Ways to Combat Rankism and 8 Ways You Can Stop Rankism by Robert Fuller, author of Somebodies and Nobodies: Overcoming the Abuse of Rank, All Rise, and (with Pamela A. Gerloff) Dignity for All;
- European Agency for Safety and Health at Work: Bullying at Work (EU-OSHA Factsheet 23);
- FAQ from the Workplace Bullying Institute, a US-based non-profit organization dedicated to the eradication of workplace bullying: it offers help for individuals, research, public education, consulting for employers, and legislative advocacy;
- Direct.gov.uk section on bullying in the workplace – what it is, how to handle it, prevention and resolution – includes information on legal rights and remedies for those in the United Kingdom; and
- Ireland’s Code of Practice for Employers and Employees on the Prevention and Resolution of Bullying at Work, available online in PDF format, contains advice on how to prepare a bullying prevention policy (and other preventative measures) that can serve as a good starting point for any organization – and a clear written policy that lays out your organization’s expectations for a respectful workplace may be the best way to stop any problems before they arise.
What other online resources would you add to this list?