Any hint of malicious gossip should set off alarm bells. Bullies are bad for business: they can make life a misery for some of your best employees. First, find out the facts and talk tothe victims. Explain what you intend to do and advise what action they should take if the bullying continues, then call in the culprits and ask for an explanation. Nothing short of a full apology will do. To have any chance of restoring morale within your team, everyone must shake hands and move on, but characters who can be so cruel to their colleagues will find it difficult to climb down. In my book, bullying is a sackable offence. Unless you can perform a miracle of Damascus dimensions, dismissal is your only option – even if it means saying goodbye to some key workers. Get rid of them and your business will improve overnight.
John Timpson will be giving his thoughts on performance reviews and how to manage older employees in the next edition of Real Business magazine, out in a couple of weeks.