Workplace bullying often involves employees with highly charged emotions and a lack of clear factual evidence. It is essential for organisations that wish to tackle the bullying issue effectively to have a group of fully trained volunteer harassment advisers to whom the bullied person can turn to for help and advice at an informal stage of the complaint.
The role of the Harassment Adviser
The volunteer Harassment Adviser plays a vital role in the successful running of an informal mechanism provides good quality guidance and help to employees complaining of harassment. The helping relationship between complainant and adviser needs to be one of guidance, information giving and problem solving – not of advice or instruction – as the complainant needs to feel comfortable and able to follow through on the actions agreed as a result of the relationship.
Skills and attributes for the role
The Adviser must also have a good understanding of harassment and related legislation, a familiarity with the formal complaint procedures, and an understanding of the disciplinary and grievance procedures of the organisation they are working in. In essence, advisers must be properly trained and highly skilled to carry out this role effectively. Harassment Advisers should be employees who have volunteered willingly to be available to support fellow employees in this capacity Advisers will offer support to fellow employees, usually in addition to doing their normal work. By implication this involves a high degree of personal commitment.
The AAC Harassment Adviser Training is adaptable, and is able to cope efficiently with participants who have different experiences, different levels of awareness and different expertise. These, in themselves, will present good-shared training and development material. Additionally, our training is supportive of the different business environments, cultures and values within the organisation in which the advisers are working.