The 12 risks of Xmas: on the eleventh day of Xmas...
On the 10th day of Christmas... office banter went too far
As colleagues let their hair down, out come the phones with cameras just a swipe away. And while we all love to have our fun, some jokes can go a little too far beyond the Christmas festivities. This is how nicknames are born, which might haunt the employees for a long time. Talk about ghosts of Christmas past. Sadly, statistics prove that 29% of employees in the UK have been the victims of workplace bullying.
What’s at risk?
When employees start enjoying themselves a little too much during the office drinks and it gets documented by their colleagues - it all seems like harmless fun. This can quickly become a source of teasing, which within the modern workplace communication, in turn, becomes cyber bullying. Not only may this hurt self-esteem, it may actually cause a nasty claim, especially if management is in any way involved in a thread that includes this content.
How to avoid it?
As an employer, the first thing you should do to prevent acts of cyber bullying is having a clear policy in place that outlines the types of behaviours falling under the term. It is then up to the staff to adhere to it, as they will be fully aware of the consequences that an act of friendly “office banter” might bring. Management, on the other hand, have to set an example for their teams, but also think one step ahead - getting the right D&O insurance including an employment practices liability cover.
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