Hi, I work in a small size company as an HR. Recently, a male employee just went home. Upon asking him about the issue, he informed that he had been bothered by the small group in the company and his private space was not respected. He doesn't like to join in the discussion, however, is forced on the pretext of team bonding. The issues that are discussed are nothing but gossiping about others, which he doesn't want to take part in. He does understand that the group is unaware that he has been bothered by their behavior and they are not sensitized to that behavior in friends and colleagues need to be different.

Our manager asked us to look into this. As we have a handful of people and the issue was because of ignorance, how do I tackle this situation, without targeting anyone in particular? I did find many policies related to sexual harassment. But this falls under workplace bullying and we do not have a government guideline for it. How do I make the employee who has suffered, feel safe to come to work and how do I make the policy so as everyone becomes sensitive about everyone else's personal space.

From India, Pune
Dear Hr-Kts,
Whether a small company or otherwise, the crucial aspect of the organisation is giving a specific shape to its culture. However, a large number of CEOs are not bothered about the company's culture. Their obsession is business expansion, looking for VCs etc.
Anyway, with the problem at hand, you need to solve it also. You have written that "But this falls under workplace bullying and we do not have a government guideline for it". The incident that you have described does not fall under "workplace bullying" either. It is just that the staff are not properly trained on following the workplace etiquettes. Secondly, expecting the government to create guidelines on workplace behaviour is too much. Let us not allow the government to interfere in the internal matters of the organisation.
Ok. Coming to the solution. I recommend you conduct the training on "business etiquette" or "workplace etiquette". You may take reference of the following link:
https://www.forbes.com/2007/10/10/wo...h=55ba07913820
There are various other web resources also. You may refer to them.
In the link that I have given above, a list of the worst workplace behaviours has been mentioned. Referring to the points, you may organise the training. In the training programme, tell the participants to do the role plays and or search videos on Youtube and have a discussion on it.
Building a culture of business etiquettes is always a work in progress. It is never-ending. Therefore, you will have to redo this exercise after 1-2 years but in a different form.
A culture of business etiquettes helps improve productivity. You could come to know what happened in your office as one employee left during the working hours. What if he had not left? The problem would have remained unaddressed. Therefore, the incident is a lesson for you also. How to keep the ear to the ground and foreclose the chance of employee demotivation.
Thanks,
Dinesh Divekar

From India, Bangalore

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