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Monthly Archives

October 2016

A VOCABULARY LESSON IN DIVERSITY

By | Civil & Healthy Workplaces | No Comments

Managing diversity is a compliance thing – it means you successfully “manage” your diversity.  It means you are an equal opportunity employer, your anti-harassment policies are up to date, you try to avoid biases in your interviews, and it may even occur to you once in a while that your leadership team is made up of men, and it might be good to get a woman in there someday.

Inclusion, however, is a choice. It means you seek to include others in everything you do. It means, for example, that you go looking for diversity in your recruitment efforts instead of hoping a diverse group responds to your job posting.

What about tolerance? Why people use this in the context of diversity is beyond me. I hate that word. I tolerate the annoying lady behind me in line at the grocery store who is yelling at her kid and keeps bumping into me with her shopping cart. This isn’t a good reference point when we’re talking about diversity.

Let’s replace tolerate with celebrate, and I believe all organizations should have Diversity & Inclusion (D&I) initiatives that provide the opportunity to do just that. When a woman has a child, instead of tolerating that she’s on leave for three months, celebrate with her and ask her what her needs are. Can you offer that she come in and leave an hour earlier to avoid traffic?

When an employee needs a day off due to a religious holiday, instead of tolerating that he’ll be absent, celebrate with him and invite him to share insight about the holiday with the rest of the office.

When you realize that one employee is celebrating Pride Week in your city, instead of tolerating his pride flag taped to his cubicle wall, celebrate with him and find out how you and the rest of the office can participate too.

Inclusion means you invite people to be themselves, and that self is celebrated.

I recently did a webinar with Ascentis on the topic of D&I. Get the FREE recording here if you’re interested!

Have you been bullied in the workplace?

By | Workplace bullying | One Comment

Is your Human Resources department being proactive with workplace bullying?

By | Workplace bullying | No Comments

Do your employees have Adult Bullying Syndrome?

By | Workplace bullying | No Comments

I was recently doing some research for a client and happened to come across a grossly appalling research article. It claimed that that people who bully suffer from “adult bullying syndrome.”

I have some major problems with this.

First, the way the author describes bullies villainizes them. There is so, so, so much research that clearly shows people bully because of their environment. They feel threatened by something, and the culture allows the bullying, and they’ve probably learned it along the way from someone else. Saying bullies have a syndrome makes them victims, and that excuses their behavior.

Second, making a sweeping generalization about people who bully is careless and irresponsible. It is the job of psychologists and psychiatrists to determine syndromes within their individual patients. By offering this up, the author is claiming all people who bully have the same characteristics, and therefore we can say they all have a syndrome. Yikes!

And third, if we start saying people who bully should be diagnosed with a syndrome, then we provide them with the ability to claim accommodation under the Americans with Disabilities Act. Is that what we want – everyone has to endure bullying because “the bully” has a syndrome? And do we want people diagnosing their co-workers? I think not!

I see so much misinformation about workplace bullying out there, and I see a lot of bad advice about how to solve the problem of workplace bullying.

That’s why I’m going to teach you everything I know about how to solve workplace bullying. I’ve been consulting and training on the topic long enough to know what works and what doesn’t, and I’m going to give it all to you.

I want to give you the tools that give you the power and resources to end workplace bullying in your own organization.

We’ll talk about why people bully, we’ll discuss the organization’s role, and we’ll discuss how to “sell” the problem of bullying to the C-Suite. I’ll teach you how to audit an organization, how to provide training to create a more positive workplace, and how to coach leaders through culture change.

You’ll walk away with everything you need to end workplace bullying.

If you’re interested, click here to fill out an application. I will follow up with a phone call.

The course will take place in lovely downtown San Diego, CA, on December 5 and 6, 2016.

I am only accepting 10 attendees, so claim your spot ASAP by filling out the application.

Catherine Mattice, MA, SPHR, SHRM-SCP
Civility Partners
Your partner in building a positive workplace so your employees can thrive
www.CivilityPartners.com

Podcast: How HR Can Help Curtail Workplace Bullying

By | Workplace bullying | No Comments

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Special thanks to David Weisenfeld for having me on his show, XpertHR!!

Listen to the podcast on his page.

Workplace bullying is an issue increasingly on HR’s radar. When does teasing cross the line into bullying? What happens when the accused bully is a supervisor or higher? And how can co-workers help stop the problem?

On this podcast, we discuss those questions and more with Catherine Mattice, who heads Civility Partners, a San Diego-based training and consulting firm that helps organizations build positive workplace cultures. Mattice is a former HR director who experienced bullying earlier in her career and has authored a book on the subject.

Mattice has strong words for employees who witness bullying behavior at work but remain silent. “If you don’t speak up when you see workplace bullying happening then you’re reinforcing the problem,” she says. “I don’t like the words ‘witness’ and ‘bystander’ because it implies you don’t have a choice.”

She offers concrete suggestions for how HR can create an environment where people are more comfortable coming forward and speaking up, including:

  • Communicate that you care;
  • Have a policy in place; and
  • Focus on fostering a positive workplace.

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Why I love this government agency

By | Workplace bullying | No Comments

In 2015, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) – the organization who enforces federal harassment and discrimination laws – put together a task force made up of academics, psychologists, lawyers, trainers and others. Their mission: to understand harassment and prevention better.

The task force released their report in June of 2016, and it serves as a kind of “state of the union” of harassment in the U.S.

The report is depressing.

For example, only 1 in 4 people file a formal complaint; the other 75% fear retaliation and therefore prefer to endure the harassment instead.

The EEOC recovers approximately $165 million for workers annually, but acknowledged the actual costs of harassment due to lost productivity, turnover and more is far greater.

Also, complaints have only gone up, not down, in the last 20 years.

Obviously something has to change because our current system isn’t working.

And while I may have overstated my feelings for the EEOC in my subject line, the report’s conclusions are interesting… because I agree with them!

I was happy to see the report point out that leadership is key – that effective prevention efforts and culture intolerant of harassment starts at the top. Yes, the EEOC is finally talking about culture!

I was also happy to see the task force acknowledge that training isn’t working because it’s focused on the wrong thing: compliance. Finally… FINALLY… the EEOC acknowledged that the focus of training should be on creating a positive workplace.

So I have some good news.

Given that the federal government is finally talking about what I’ve been talking about for years – solving harassment and bullying with a positive workplace instead of with anti-harassment initiatives, I’ve decided to open my doors and teach others my methodology.

Typically, I come in as a consultant and do this process alongside my clients.

This is different.

For the first time, I’m offering a “train the trainer” program to teach qualified HR professionals everything I know, so that you can take the reins in your own organization to end bullying and replace it with a positive workplace.

I’ll be sharing tools I’ve been crafting and testing for years, and proving to get results.

I’m going to teach you everything I know about how to solve workplace bullying so that you can repeat the process in your own organization.

If you’re interested, click here to fill out an application. I will follow up with a phone call.

The course will take place in beautiful downtown San Diego, CA, on December 5 and 6, 2016.

Oh, and because this is the first time I am doing something like this, I am only accepting 10 attendees. So claim your spot ASAP by filling out the application.

Catherine Mattice, MA, SPHR, SHRM-SCP
Civility Partners
Your partner in building a positive workplace so your employees can thrive
www.CivilityPartners.com