Addressing Bullying, Harassment and Incivility: Joint Working Party Update July 2019

Tuesday, 13 August 2019 Addressing Bullying, Harassment and Incivility: Joint Working Party Update July 2019

The Bullying and Harassment Joint Working Party met again on 19th July.  It was in some parts a very challenging meeting – listening to feedback about areas of concern and hearing about the experiences of some of our colleagues.  We have agreed that we will listen to a colleague story at the start of each meeting – so powerful in focussing on why addressing bullying, harassment and incivility is so important.  

What do we mean by bullying, harassment and incivility?

Colleagues have asked us to be clear on definitions for the terms we use – and for colleagues to feel confident to report bullying they must first understand what bullying is or what could be bullying behaviour.  Hopefully this understanding will result in colleagues feeling more able to seek support. 

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Civility Saves Lives

I keep talking about the importance of civility and the work of Civility Saves Lives – and I plan to continue to. The messages are so powerful. If we can create an environment where everyone is polite, courteous and respectful – it is less likely that bullying and harassment with happen -  and if it does,  these behaviours will feel so out of the ordinary they will be called out and addressed with confidence by everyone around.

If you haven’t seen it yet – I would encourage every one of you to watch this Tedx Talk by Dr Chris Turner who spoke at our Creating Positive Cultures Conference last year. Thank you to those who have fed back since we shared it through Weekly News. Here is the link: When rudeness in teams turns deadly

Working Party developments

Thank you to colleagues who have started to share personal stories and ‘soundbites’ about experiences of bullying, harassment and incivility – we are sharing these through Trust communications and including in developmental resources / training.

We continue to seek feedback from, and offer support to hotspot areas – those flagged through qualitative feedback as well as areas where colleague experience data highlights groups with higher prevalence of bullying and harassment concerns.

Surgery and Critical Care have shared some initial positive feedback about a developmental approach to improve behaviours and working relationships with one of their large teams. It is early days but there seems to be real commitment to improving behaviours in the long term. The working party have agreed to gather and share success stories – with examples of approaches taken to address unacceptable behaviours and the impact on individuals and teams.

Development of a new intranet site and resource pack, including an easy to access catalogue of learning opportunities is underway and feedback from colleagues is being sought ahead of publishing.

The working party approved a new tool that colleagues can have so they are aware of all of the support and advice available to them if they experience bulling and harassment.  The SUPPORT Z Card will be distributed shortly.

Thank you for your continued support and feedback

Thank you to everyone who has contacted me in response to previous joint working party updates.  I appreciate your honesty, and ideas for how we can create a positive culture and become a Great Place to Work for every individual.   

Remember, there is independent advice and support available through our Respect Champion network. These are people from across the Trust from a range of staff groups and backgrounds who are really passionate about our behavioural standards and civility at work. They are trained to offer advice and support colleagues experiencing bullying or harassment and their details are available here.

Aaron Cummins
Chief Executive
Chair of UHMBT Bullying and Harassment Joint Working Party


Further information

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