Harassment is one the inexcusable incidents because it violates ethical norms and threatens a person’s emotional or physical well-being. Types of harassment include online, psychological, sexual, racial, religious, and workplace. The latter form of harassment is aggressive behavior toward one or several workers. Bullying at a workplace is a significant source of distress that results in psychological issues, a decline in productivity, and an unhealthy environment in a company. One such incident that needs to be reported is the aggressive behavior of the group of older technicians toward our new laboratory manager from Germany who was recruited to our company one year ago.
Workplace harassment was recorded in our company which required immediate action. The HR management office has recently received an email from the new employee about the possibility of terminating her contract due to her inability to withstand workplace harassment. She claims that the four technicians in the quality testing lab leave her offensive notes in the laboratory. Our team organized a meeting with the laboratory manager to check for the validity of her statements. The lab coordinator was able to show the picture of the last message that was left on the door of the freezer, but she did not take photos of several other notes. Although the technicians’ team refuses to admit that they wrote those lines, the video record from that date shows that one of them placed a sticky note with the message on the fridge door. The quality assurance team eventually confessed to leaving these notes and explained that the new manager is not qualified to work in these laboratories. Still, the department’s performance improved significantly since the new laboratory coordinator arrived.
The emergency meeting with the Vice-President of the company was conducted to achieve consensus in this complicated case. Although the laboratory manager was reassured that the quality assurance team would be punished and bring their apologies, she declined to prolong her contract with our company. After investigating this incident, two of the technicians identified as initiators of bullying were suspended from their duties. Two other members of this team were put on probation for three months. Since our company promotes friendly and non-discriminatory culture for employees, this behavior was unacceptable. Therefore, the HR management office decided to survey the employees to reveal any unreported cases of workplace harassment. Furthermore, each worker was scheduled for a personal interview to discuss the understanding of ethics and professionalism.
To sum up, this case of harassment placed a negative mark on our company because our former laboratory manager left a review about her work experience on several online job platforms. It was understandable because she became the target of bullying. The HR management office was asked to research hidden harassment cases in the company. Furthermore, all employees were asked to explain their comprehension of professional behavior at the workplace. The survey results and personal interviews showed that approximately half of the lower and middle-level workers do not have a clear understanding of this concept. Therefore, the company leaders decided to organize training on ethics and professionalism. This short one-month course will include lectures and group discussions that will be concluded with a written exam and PowerPoint presentation by each department. The administrators hope that this training will improve employees’ performance and prevent cases of workplace harassment in the future.