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Home > Addressing Bullying, Harassment and Incivility: Joint Working Party Update May 2019

Addressing Bullying, Harassment and Incivility: Joint Working Party Update May 2019

Posted by admin on June 7, 2019

We will only become a Great Place to be Cared For; Great Place to Work for every individual if we address unacceptable behaviour and create an organisation where people can be happy at work.   Every one of us can make a difference.  A quarter of colleagues at UHMBT experience bullying, harassment or abuse –this means it is likely to be going on around you, if not in your team, somewhere near.  I would like to ask each of you to undertake some self-reflection.  Do you always behave in line with our Behavioural Standard Framework? If you see or hear behaviours that are not ok – what do you do? Remember, the standards we walk past, are the standards we accept. 

The Bullying and Harassment Joint Working Party met formally again on Friday 17th May.  Updates were provided for each worksteam and we agreed on focus for the coming months. 

What have we been doing?

Learning from lived Experience

We have started to gather stories from to help us all learn from real life experiences and to understanding the impact that bullying, harassment and incivility has on people we work with. I would like to share a personal story with you now - demonstrating the impact of different styles of leadership can have on both colleague experience and the whole life of a person.

My experience as a UHMBT colleague

Civility Saves Lives

You should have been seeing and hearing more about civility at work. If you haven’t already – I would really encourage you to check out the research and messaging from We need to get the basics of behaviour right –courtesy, politeness, respect, manners - every day, everywhere across the Trust.  

A comprehensive communication campaign has been approved for implementation over the coming months, which will continue to promote messages about civility at work as well as addressing bullying and harassment and our behavioural standard framework.

Working with priority groups

There is lots of work going on within Care Groups, and with individual colleagues and teams to promote positive behaviours and culture. At the March working party meeting, 3 areas of Trust wide focus were highlighted, with the following actions in response:

  • Corporate Services
    • A Corporate Leadership Team Call to Action has been held in response to the levels of bullying and harassment being experienced in corporate services and department leads are now working with teams to better understand what is going on, to make sure everyone knows who they can go to for support, and to address unacceptable behaviour.
  • SAS (Specialty and Associate Specialist) Doctors
    • SAS doctors welcomed me at one of their regular meetings and shared their experiences of bullying and harassment (thank you to those who were there for being so open and honest).  I am now working with David Wilkinson (Director of People and OD) and David Walker (Medical Director) to respond to the issues raised.
  • BME (Black and Minority Ethnic) Colleagues
    • In partnership with our BME network, a number of actions have been agreed including
      • The introduction of a Reciprocal Mentoring Programme
      • Understanding ethnicity data at Care group level , with targeted support and improvement programmes
      • BME network Listening Project to better understand perspectives – what is contributing to unacceptable behaviour 
      • Development of the BME network including reaching out to all professional groups and new starters 

Addressing unacceptable behaviour

We have started testing out some simple tools that will support early feedback and response to concerns – ahead of full roll out in a couple of months once the test cycle is complete.   

We are working on a new early resolution process that will be simple to understand – and we are involving colleagues in its development.  

We have mapped all the current training related to behaviours and are now identifying any gaps and how we fill them.  It is really important that what is available is communicated in a way that is easy to access – so will form part of our new Behaviours toolkit that is being developed.   

Thank you for your suggestions

Thank you to colleagues who have contacted me in response to previous joint working party updates.  I appreciate your honesty, and ideas for how we can create a positive culture and become a Great Place to Work for every individual.  One example has been helping people to articulate pressing the ‘pause’ button when it might help a situation progress – recognising that we are all different, that different views are healthy, and that we should recognised this. Remember it is ok to say things like:

‘I know we want to achieve the best outcome so let’s revisit this meeting at another time with a clear perspective’

‘Do you think inviting someone to help keep focus would be helpful?’

‘I respect your view but I don’t think we can progress at this moment. Please could we have time to look at this subject and contemplate our discussion today?’

‘I need some time to ensure I understand what you are asking me, could we meet and discuss how we do this?’

Aaron Cummins
Chief Executive
Chair of UHMBT Bullying and Harassment Joint Working Party

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