At the NACS Show on Wednesday, Bob Graczyk, vice president human resources, Quick Chek Corp., spoke about the impact of bullying on employee well being and productivity, and how c-store chains can prevent bullying behavior at their stores in an educational session titled, “No Bullies Allowed: Positive Workplace Culture,”
Some 16-21% of employees have experienced workplace bullying.
Quick Chek, which has been voted a New Jersey Best Places to Work five years running by its employees, starts talking about acceptable behaviors from first day of orientation, including core values, culture and behaviors expected in their workplace culture.
At Quick Chek, teams go through Quick Chek University leadership training, which teaches how to prevent discrimination and sexual harassment in the workplace.
Employees who might feel harassed or unfairly discriminated against can also call corporate and have their issue addressed immediately.
Bullying is repeated mistreatment and can include yelling, verbal abuse, threatening conduct, intimidation and/or humiliation. Bullying can take on many forms. It can take the form of constant criticism despite a history of competence, or spreading gossip. One form of bullying can be changing someone’s schedule after it’s posted, or changing their hours to times it is known they have a class to attend or a child to pick up. “We post the schedule nine days ahead of time, and employees are asked before a schedule change is made. If your schedule is posted and someone changes it—that’s a form of bullying,“ he said.
Creating a positive workplace culture starts with hiring practices. Quick Chek works to prevent bullying by hiring people with a positive attitude about work and service—as opposed to hiring just based on technical skills. Prospective employees have to go through an online screening process that determines if people have the right DNA for the company. “We work hard at hiring people with emotional stability, who deal well with stress.”
Graczyk recommended a bullying checklist for companies:
-Do you address bullying behaviors in policy?
-What bullying behaviors are tolerated?
-How do you respond to complaints?
-How do you respond to the behaviors when no one complains?