Suggestions for Developing an Anti-Bullying Culture in the Workplace

This paper provides three significant but interrelated factors toward the development of an anti-bullying culture in a formal or bureaucratic organization. It suggests that legislative reform, via education, mediation and restoration or restorative justice, once instituted can go a long way toward reducing the occurrence of workplace bullying. However, legislative reform is central. Education, mediation and restoration are the pillars upon which reform should be based. Arguably, legislative reform requires promoting a national anti-bullying agenda that results in an anti-bullying culture in all workplaces. In addition, to examining legislative reform, education, mediation and restoration, it will define workplace bullying and identify three effects of workplace bullying, namely individual, social and economic or financial.

This paper agrees with international scholars that bullying involves an abuse of power in work relations between superior and subordinate staff. However, it recognizes that bullying can take place when coworkers or peers collaborate to intimidate, threaten or harass another whom they perceive to be different or deviant in some significant way from their group. For example, some working class men have been known to bully colleagues whom they perceive to be physically weak and unsuited to physically demanding tasks that they are expected to perform. Also, it may have to do with their perception that deviants violate masculinity norms of toughness and the possession of physical strength.

Workplace bullying can take many forms. They include verbal and physical threats, sexual harassment, ostracism or isolation, petty tyranny, public humiliation, wrongful blaming and shaming or unsubstantiated accusations of incompetent. Overworking employees by assigning tasks unrelated to their job description is another example. Bullies or higher ranking employees may be motivated by their favorable relations with persons higher up in the organization such as the chief executive officer, chairman of the board of directors or even their immediate supervisor. Bullying will take place when bullies feel insulated from adverse action if found guilty by a jury of their peers.

It is proffered that the effects of workplace bullying can be extremely severe with catastrophic consequences for the individual, family and organization or workplace. Individuals suffer whether they are victims or perpetrators. It must be stated though that victims suffer more than bullies in significant ways. They include mentally, emotionally, psychologically or physically, based on the severity of bullying. Families of victims also suffer when the bullied withdraw socially or hit out and make them scapegoats. Workplace bullying can lead to strained social relations as coworkers often take sides. Frequently, the majority take the side of the supervisor for fear of victimization. Financial effects may impact the organization negatively. It is well-known that employees who are bullied persistently take more time off from work, either sick or business leave. This puts additional pressure on their colleagues who have to fill in for them. It also means fewer man hours and lower productivity. The net effect is lower productive efficiency and capacity. The negative effects of workplace bullying make it imperative that a strong resilient anti-bullying culture should be developed in each workplace.

The state or government should take a leading role in the development of an anti-bullying culture. Cogent and effective legislation should be reformed only after the collection of empirical evidence gathered by scientific research on workplace bullying is undertaken. Decisively, there must be collaboration between organizations and the state to ensure that valid and reliable data are collected in quick time. The Ministry of Labor or its equivalent should be tasked with responsibility for collecting quantitative and qualitative data on workplace bullying. Data should include frequency, victim and offender social characteristics, management or reduction strategies and anti-bullying education for employees. The Ministry of Labor should ensure that national anti- bullying programs, policies and procedures are reformed and re-implemented in congruence with the reformed legislation. Within organizations a bottom up approach should be adopted via meaningful consultation involving all stakeholders such as management, workers and trade union representatives. They should be mandated to formulate mechanisms for implementing state policies, programs and procedures within their industry or organization and workgroups.

Education is the main catalyst for cultural change. All employees, including the newly recruited, should undergo training in bullying recognition, reporting and management, that is, established grievance procedures. The main objective of anti-bullying education is to ensure that allegations of bullying are taken seriously and that no employee who alleges victimization is subject to additional victimization as a result of his complaint. In addition, all employees should attend at least one anti-bullying seminar annually where they will become sensitized to the deleterious effects of bullying and the best ways of managing, containing, reducing or eliminating it in the workplace. Furthermore all workplaces should display clearly, literature and pictures that effectively promote anti-bullying.

Mediation should be an accepted alternative dispute resolution technique in the development of an anti-bullying culture that emphasizes fair treatment and freedom to report bullying. Mediation should be the first step. If it fails, litigation should be the next course of action. Mediators that are highly trained, skilled and independent should be recruited to assist in disputes resolution where attempts at resolution within organizations have been unsuccessful. Sessions should be well structured so that victim and perpetrator can communicate each other respectfully in an environment of trust and mutual goodwill.

Finally, based on severity of bullying, disputants should agree on an appropriate form of restorative justice. A number of options should be available. Apologizing is the primary choice. A meaningful apology can act toward mending broken relationships spoilt by workplace bullying. However, depending on the extent of victimization disputants may have the power to decide whether financial compensation or counseling is most appropriate. Financial compensation can result from settlement between disputants if it was established that the bullied suffered financially as a result of victimization. Alternatively, the victim should have the right to seek redress in an industrial court where work disputes are arbitrated. Counseling will assist perpetrator and victim. They may need self-esteem building and therapy. Cognitive, solution focused or person centered therapy may be adapted as appropriate to assist in bringing about emotional or psychological health. In cases involving family and workgroup trauma, appropriate group based therapy should be undertaken at no cost to the victim.

This paper sought to examine the development of an anti-bullying culture in the workplace. Even though anti-bullying legislation exists there is need for reform and effective enforcement consistently. All workers must be sensitized to the individual, social and economic hazards of bullying. Workplaces must become safer places for all regardless of gender, rank, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation or any other socioeconomic characteristic that leads to perception that a worker is vulnerable or disadvantaged.

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7 Advantages Of Using Automatic Screw Feeder For Your Business

As far as development is concerned, an automatic screw feeder has been going through a lot of improvements. This is true as far as improving the quality and efficiency of the products is concerned. In this article, we are going to talk about a couple of salient advantages of these machines. As a business owner, taking these advantages into consideration is of paramount importance. Therefore, let’s go ahead and consider these advantages to make things easier for you.

7. Cost

The first primary advantage of these machines is that they are fast and simple. Therefore, you don’t need to hire more than one person to use a single machine. In other words, downsizing will be possible as it will help save a lot of costs in the future.

If your business costs are too high because of hiring a lot of employees, you can get a few of these machines to get the job done in a cost-effective manner.

6. Efficiency

Efficiency is the second most important advantage of these units. You just need to hit the lever and the machine will start fastening screws in no time. The speed of these units is so fast that they can allow you to tighten up to 30 screws in 60 seconds.

Automatic feeding is a process that allows a lot of time-saving due to automation. Therefore, it’s possible to achieve a high degree of efficiency for the same reason.

5. Quality

Since screws can be guided, arranged, fed, and locked, it’s possible to achieve a higher degree of quality. Also, proper torque control makes it easier to improve the customer products significantly.

These units allow quick detection of screws. Plus, they give warnings when there is a missing or loose screw. Similarly, there is the detection of slipping screws as well. These features make this unit a high-quality one, especially for a screw tightening business.

4. Screw Feeding Automation

In the case of manual screw feeding, you have to pick and move the screws manually thousands of times. Also, the product will be free of all types of contaminants. This is because you won’t touch the screws at any stage of the process.

3. Minimal Effort

An automatic screw feeder helps pick and place screws automatically. And this can help reduce a lot of effort. Since the machine is made to work using a lever, it can help meet labor-saving and ergonomic needs.

2. Diversified Models

It’s better that you opt for models after you have considered your needs and products. Apart from this, due to the customization feature, you can easily meet the requirements of the production line.

And the good thing is that you can automate the machine fully if you consider what your production line requires.

1. Scope of Use

These units are used in a wide range of devices like fans, optical lenses, speakers, LCD screens, circuit boards, motorcycles, automobiles, computers, and smartphones, just to name a few.

Don’t Get Stuck in a Rut – Invest in a New Driveway

The driveway of your house is one of the first things that you or anyone else visiting your home sees. There’s no way of hiding it, and there is no way of getting around the fact that if it is in a state of disrepair, it will make the rest of your property look not care for and untidy.

One reason that many people end up with aging driveways with cracks and potholes in them is that it seems to be a massive and expensive job to put right. That’s why you should always shop around to find the best deal when you are looking to have work carried out on your driveway. Weigh up all the different options and then make a decision based on your particular wants and needs. Whether you are considering tarmac or a paved driveway, you are sure to improve the look of your property immeasurably.

If you’re not personally bothered about the state of your driveway but are looking to sell your property then it makes sense to have it re-laid before putting the house on the market. Potential buyers could be put off buying your home straight away if they take one look at it and see a messy and cracking driveway. It suggests the rest of the house may also be in a state of disrepair, and who wants to buy a home off someone who has not looked after it.

Whatever type of home repair you are looking into, it is always important to make sure that you look around different companies to make sure you are getting the best deal out there and not spending more money than you need to. You can now find companies online that are dedicated to finding quotes for driveways, helping you to get the very best deals available in your local area. Home improvement price comparison websites make sure that you are only put in touch with reliable and reputable companies that you can trust to get the job done for a fair price.

It’s possible to get quotes for everything from new kitchens to double glazing, so when you have a home improvement project on the cards then make sure you look on the internet to find you perfect partner.

Free Grants For Home Improvement Repair Costs

If you would like to fix or repair your house, home improvement grants provide free money to Americans who can use some financial assistance when it comes to covering the cost of home repair. These grants are typically provided by the government. More specifically, your local government has the greatest interest in helping you finance your home improvement projects, as they are the ones to benefit the most.

The home owner, also benefits greatly from these programs. Home improvement grants provide free money that never has to be paid back. As long as these funds are used for the purpose agreed upon in your grant application, the cash is yours to keep.

Once you access the grant database to find the government grant programs that you are eligible to receive, you’ll realize that there are a number of grants to choose from. Some provide money for home repair, others provide free grant money to expand your home, while others offer the cash you need to upgrade your appliances to energy efficient equipment. It all depends on what government programs are specially available in your community and how much funding is left for you to claim.

When you apply for home improvement grants, you do not have to worry about your credit score, collateral or down payment money. Because these are not loans, the government is not interested in this information. What you will need, however, is the details on your project, an estimate as to how much it will increase the value of your property, and a good idea of how much money your project will cost.

The Basics of Acquiring a US Visa

It’s not uncommon to dream of visiting places you see in the movies. Let me guess, most of them are in the United States. To name a few, New York, LA, Miami, Washington and Chicago are some of the common tourist destinations in the US. You have the resources but you harbor this apprehension of being denied.

This should not stop you from making your travel plans a reality. If you have relatives in the US or you would like to travel solo, the key is to know what type of visa you must apply for, the necessary documents you must fill out, and more importantly, the purpose of your visit to the US.

First things first, know the difference between a US Visitor Visa (B-2) and a US Visa Sponsorship.

These two things are not the same.

The visitor visa often known as B-1/B-2 visa is a non-immigrant visa for people wishing to enter United States temporarily for pleasure, medical treatment, and business. In this case, you apply for your US Visa with the US Embassy or Consulate. Whereas, a U.S. visa sponsorship is applied for by the employer or close family member by filing an immigration petition with the U.S. government for getting a residency card (Green card) for their employee or close family member. This is also known as non-immigrant petitions such as work visa (e.g., H, L visa) as well as family visa (e.g., Fiancé or K visa).

What is the purpose of your visit?

You will be asked this question by the US consul who you will meet when you get to the embassy. But before that, determine the purpose of your trip. If the purpose of your trip is to visit USA for a short duration for pleasure, tourism, and visit relatives, family, or friends, then visitor visa known as Tourist visa to USA or B-2 visa is the right visa for you.

However, keep in mind that you if apply for a visitor’s visa, among other things, you must show to the US Consular officer that they have strong ties to the Philippines as you home country and they intend return after their temporary stay in the U.S. You must also show that you have enough money available to take care your expenses for your U.S. trip such as air tickets, visitors insurance, lodging/boarding, transportation expenses, tourism expenses and all other expenses.

What if I don’t have enough resources but my friends and relatives in the US are willing to shoulder my stay there?

Then this is where sponsorship sets in.

Who can sponsor my trip?

Any US-based person can sponsor visa for his/her parents, relatives, and friends. This means that he/she must either be a holder of an I-94 (US Green card) or a US Citizen. Your sponsor should provide an affidavit of support (form I-134). The form is a confirmation that the sponsor is ready to undertake the financial liability of the applicant during the visit.

What documents do I need to submit?

Must have Documents for US Visitor Visa interview:

  1. A valid passport that does not expire prior to 6 months beyond of your intended stay.
  2. Printout of your confirmation page from the form DS-160
  3. Fee receipt US Visa Fees
  4. One photograph
  5. Original/Copy of Visa interview appointment letter

Supporting documents to show your Ties with your home country include:

You must demonstrate strong economic, social, and familial ties with your home country. You must also show that you will not become a burden on US by proving your financial stability to cover the expenses in US. These facts will ensure the interviewing officer that you will return to your home country after the authorized period of stay in USA. The required documents are:
1. Evidence of sufficient funds for the visit to US (Bank statement and passbook, etc.)
2. Evidence to show that you have strong ties to your home country. Documents related to the property you own and your employment are good evidence
a. If you are employed get a verification letter of employment
b. If you are self-employed get a financial and other documentary proof of the ownership
c. If you are a government employee get a Certificate of Employment and an Authority to Travel Certification
d. Tax ID, and recent tax-related documents
e. Original property papers like house, shop or business ownership documents etc. which you own in the Philippines/home country. If no papers available, make a notarized affidavit for the same
f. Documentary evidence of running any business or organization
g. Evidence of family ties like unmarried children, old aged parents and other family responsibilities
h. If person is an employee, other than proof of employment and proof of leave granted from the office, any such document that would show proof that you have reasons to come back

Documents and other proofs aside, the assistance of an immigration counsel/consultant who would facilitate your application and better your chances of getting approved is strongly suggested and highly encouraged.

Posted in Law

Expand Your Brand Using Other People’s Money by Using Franchisor Strategies

Back many years ago, I met a fellow franchisor, he’d built a nice company with 250 franchisees which operated Kiosks in shopping malls – you know those carts in malls that sell various wares. What he did was make each Kiosk its own business, at first as “independent contractors” but later as Franchisees due to the Franchise Law rules. Each franchisee had to sign a two-year franchise agreement with non-automatic renewal, where the Franchisor could merely take over the business, location, as he already had the lease-space agreement with the malls, including the corporations that owned many malls around the country.

After two years, he stopped renewing franchise agreements, took control of all those little businesses, and then sold the whole thing and retired a very wealthy man. Unfortunately, many of the independent contractors, turned into Franchisees were forced out after building up their businesses and providing a substantial amount of goodwill. The franchisor’s concept was built by the blood, sweat and tears of all those individuals, who did make decent money in the meantime, but were then basically terminated when their franchise agreement term ended.

Recently, there is an interesting company in the “Handy Man” sector which has a franchise agreement that states it may unilaterally buy back the franchisee’s business at any time after 2-years of operating. In the Franchisor’s option to purchase there is a mathematical formula for valuation of the Franchisee’s business that negate the value of any “goodwill” and allows the Franchisee to choose if he will see at “Fair Market Value” of assets (used equipment, office furniture) or twice the earnings before interest, taxes, and amortization (EBITA).

Why would a Franchise Buyer buy a franchise like that? I suppose there might be a few situations where it makes sense for instance, the Franchisee just needs a couple of years of income and believes they can build up a good “book” of business, and if it starts to go South, the Franchisor may buy him/her out and they can move on, less risk? But what if the Franchisor chooses not to buy and the business fails? What if the business succeeds wildly and the Franchisee is forced to sell-out a thriving and growing business?

If you think about it, it is a brilliant strategy for a Franchisor, have others build your business, take all the risks, and if they succeed, you terminate their franchise agreement instead of renewal, and if they fail, you simply let them fail, then sell that territory to a new franchisee, until one succeeds and then you just keep winning and building on the backs of others. As a franchisee buyer it may be wise to recognize such strategies and be weary of them, unless it serves your temporary purpose of a short term business and solid temporary cash flow based on your abilities and the Franchisor’s model. Think on this.

Jobs You Can Do From Your Dorm Room

College students are going to head back to school soon and that means many of them will have to leave their summer jobs behind. While many students will try to find jobs on campus, others will try to stretch the money they saved during the summer. For those that want to make money, but don’t want to work on campus, working from a dorm room may be perfect. These telecommuting jobs are flexible to allow you to keep studying top priority while earning money.

Freelance Writing

Business owners want freelance writers to provide content for their websites. You can write for blogs on topics that interest you. All you have to do is find business owners in niches you like that need content for their sites.

You can find work on Elance, oDesk, and Craigslist. You may have to start working for a lower wage than others to gain experience and a reputation, but once you have that, you’ll be able to get higher paying work.

Data Entry

Many companies are outsourcing their data entry now because it keeps costs low. The data you must enter can be delivered to you via email, and then you’ll be granted access to their database. You will need to take the information sent to you and input it into the database. These jobs are paid by project or per hour depending on the company.

You can find jobs like this on Elance and oDesk, but you can also search large job sites such as Monster.com and Indeed.com for them.

Transcription

Transcription involves taking a recording and typing it out. Many doctors, lawyers, and other professionals need this service because they don’t have the time to convert their recordings to text. You’ll receive audio files via email or mail, and then you’ll have to type them. You can send the text file back via email, which makes it perfect for a college student working in a dorm room.

You can find these jobs on large job search sites because that’s where professionals usually post their needs for transcriptions. You can also work for transcription companies such as Aberdeen, AccuTran Global and Capital Typing.

Get Started Today

The best time to start looking for a job is now. The sooner you start looking, the more prepared you’ll be when you get to school. You’ll be able to learn the jobs you receive before you start classes too. Start with the sites mentioned here and then you can start exploring other options if you have the time.

Weight Gain Myths

Gaining weight is a gradual process that requires constant training and high intensity workouts. However, people do have certain myths regarding weight gaining program.

High repetitions burn fat while low repetitions build muscle: This statement is far from being true. In order to lose weight, one needs to decrease average calorie intake. However, for gaining muscle strength, one needs to have a progressive workload with a variable frequency of repetitions.

Vegetarians cannot build muscle: Research has shown that vegetarians can indeed gain muscle with regular training and daily supplementation of soy protein isolates.

Strength training will make you look masculine: This is the most common myth among women. However, building muscle is a steady process that needs proper strength-training regime ably supported by proper diet. Testosterone, which is the male sex hormone, is primarily responsible for muscle gaining in men. The secretion of this hormone is quite low in women, resulting in lesser muscular growth.

Many people believe that they can eat anything if they are doing a regular exercise. However, diet has a major role to play in defining a person’s general health and physique. It is always important to balance the ratio of calorie intake and calories burnt.

Occasional break from a rigorous training schedule is useful as it helps in refreshing the muscles and helps them to recover.

Eating more protein doesn’t necessarily help in gaining weight. Muscle building is primarily dependent on two factors which include a progressive workload and eating good calorie food. Diet derived from carbohydrates would be more useful.

One should always avoid taking steroids for building muscle as they are more harmful than being good.

Reasons for Hiring a General Contractor

When it comes to home remodeling projects general contracting can bring about a lot of changes in running the project. A few common remodeling jobs include kitchen remodeling, bathroom remodeling and office remodeling. When planning to remodel your kitchen your requirements generally will include setting up new cabinets, creating extra counter space, creating space for appliances etc.

Bathrooms are another area where we would like to see changes every now and then. Changing the tiles, repairing leaking pipes, changing sanitary wares and fixtures are some of the remodeling works that we consider while renovating bathrooms. Whatever the project is hiring a general contractor can make your work a lot easier. You can literally find a huge difference in the total cost on hiring a general contractor for all your remodeling jobs.

If you have very little knowledge on interior and remodeling tasks then a general contractor is the one whom you should contact as they can simplify your task and give you ideas, completing the task for you just as you wanted them, perfectly and flawlessly. You can share your views and ideas with your contractor who will help you execute your ideas and vision into reality.

Expert advice can help you shape your plans flawlessly. Experienced and professional General contractors know exactly how to execute remodeling projects without affecting the structure and safety of the house. They have got better insight on things that will work. They know well what type of material will suite your needs and budget.

Based on the remodeling work you may require different workers to work on the project. Hence once you plan to start the project you will require the service of any one or all of the following workers – electrician, plumber, painters, carpenters etc. If you are entrusting the task to a general contractor then you need not have to deal with all these workers but just one person, the general contractor himself, who will make the necessary arrangements and will deal with the workers without your intervention. All you have to ever bother with is to pay the contracted amount.

The workers will not contact you for payment or for leave but will contact the general contractor who will deal with their issues and payment matters. The work will be managed by the contractor who supervises the work and ensures that the work is completed on time. It will be very difficult for you to manage a remodeling project involving multiple workers. You can make things simpler and less stressful by hiring a general contractor to complete the task for you.

High Performance Teams

How does your team perform? How do you rate it on a scale of 1 to 10 where 1 is poor and 10 excellent? Is it massively successful constantly delivering way past all expectations? Is it full of positively minded people working together to achieve challenging business goals? Is it autonomous, responding effectively to challenges and opportunities large and small?

If the answer to these questions is “yes”, congratulations, you can score a 10 and don’t need to read any more of this article. In fact, as you are likely to have plenty of time for high yield activities, give me a call to discuss how your team got there.

Sadly, this isn’t the case for most of us. Your team may not be a “10” but I doubt if it’s a “1” either. Hopefully you are somewhere on the path and have the right attitudes, values and approach develop your team into a “10”.

Empowerment is a key ingredient to the high performing team. If your team feels undervalued, lacking in authority and capability, frightened to make the slightest mistake it’s unlikely to be hitting the high notes. Perhaps there are some individuals that show real potential but others are negative and unproductive?

Are you creating the right conditions for success? Does the team have a clear understanding of what is required of them? Have you a vision of what success looks like? Are the goals you have set, or been set, shared and meaningful to all team members? Reward and fear motivation is common in business today. A common example is rewarding success with a bag of money and punishing failure with the sack. The trouble is we get used to this, we need more and more money to get the same level of motivation and become resilient to threats of the sack.

Internal motivation is far more lasting and effective. It needs more work, it needs you to really understand your people and what drives them. If you know this and use personal, meaningful goals your team will self-motivate. If you have linked their personal, meaningful goals to team and company goals you are well on the way to a successful team.

The whole team is raring to go, but have they the capability to execute? Are team members allowed to make decisions? Have you delegated effectively packaging the task with the necessary authority and resources? Effective delegation is important to team success and team growth. It is a wonderful growth tool for teams and individuals. It does, however need certain attitudes and process to succeed.

Flexibility is a good starting point. The way you do a task may not be the way a team member does. They can be innovative and bring unexpectedly good results given the opportunity. It’s worth letting people test out new ideas. Sometimes different is really good, just think of Amazon and Facebook.

How self-confident are you? Enough to release authority and responsibility to team members? Enough to heap praise publicly when they bring success? Lack of self-confidence and micromanagement are the enemy of productivity. Conquer them and you will become an indispensable profit and productivity generator both for yourself and your company.

Focus on results don’t strive for perfection. Perfect is no friend of productivity. Set standards that are right for the job and always be mindful of the Pareto principle. 80% of your results are going to come from 20% of activities. This means a lot of the work delegated will contribute relatively little to overall performance. It’s intelligent to accept less than perfect in relatively unimportant areas.

Taking credit for the work of others, not really listening to their ideas or working solo crush team morale and productivity. Some people believe effective leaders must always be in total control. They see this as the way “good bosses” should behave. Many bosses do behave this way but I question if they are good. It’s most certainly not the way a good leader behaves so, if that’s what you want to be I suggest you avoid this behaviour entirely.

Delegation develops employees into effective team members. Risk is inherent but you can balance it against the likely reward in terms of personal and team growth and overall performance. It’s also possible to limit risk by adopting a multi-level delegation process.

Tiffany is a bright, driven girl with her foot on the first rung of the marketing ladder. She is doing a great job creating very successful direct mail campaigns. She is eager for something new and looks like a good candidate for development. You have just the task and would like to delegate it to her. It’s running an event which will be a challenge for her but offers a great development opportunity.

A good first step is to her for an opinion. You might say “I’m thinking of doing things differently and wondered who you think might be able to handle this task, perhaps even you? This gives her the opportunity to express opinions but not feel forced to accept the task.

If Tiffany accepts, consider this approach. The first time the opportunity to run an event comes along you run it, let her watch you do it and ask questions. The second time let Tiffany do it with you assisting and helping out where needed. The third time she runs the event, but this time without your support unless absolutely needed, reporting at regular intervals. Subsequent times she always runs events unaided and only reports in exceptional circumstances.

One seemingly small point is very important for Tiffany’s confidence and status in the team. If she performs well, make the praise loud, long and public. If she needs coaching make it supportive, private and non-judgemental.

I hope this is useful to you and help you build your own high performance team.