Heidi Hayden, the Firm's Chief Human Resource Officer in the New York office, was featured in an article based on a seminar she conducted, titled "Bullying and Acts of Aggression in the Workplace: Implementing Effective Preventative Strategies."

Here is an excerpt from the article:

Speakers at a seminar given by the Washington, D.C., law firm Epstein Becker Green gave HR professionals tips to stop bullying effectively in their workplaces and prevent workplace violence. ...

Bullying can come from an employee, vendor or customer and can happen during or after work, said Heidi Hayden, chief HR officer for the firm. ...

Hayden suggested pre-hire background screenings to avoid introducing a violent person to the workplace. She emphasized that employers should have a policy to govern their actions during the screening process and that the policy should be followed and acted on consistently.

Hayden suggested that HR professionals "scan your environment." Is inappropriate behavior addressed? Are employees leaving one department at a higher rate than other departments? How well are policies followed?

Employee surveys can help identify problem areas, she said, but HR should "be ready to take action" if the survey points out problems.

Conduct investigations to address problems the first time they crop up, Hayden said. "You might as well address it the first time; you may not have to worry about it happening a second time."

Training can prevent workplace bullying and violence, Hayden said. Training should be mandatory throughout the organization and include the organization's policy on incident reporting, how to recognize warning signs of bullying and violence, how to respond effectively, how to resolve conflict, how to handle crises and emergencies (as in a crisis response plan), and how to use the Employee Assistance Program. Make sure that training on bullying and violence prevention corresponds with training on harassment prevention, Hayden added.

Finally, Hayden suggested making sure that all HR systems are working together to prevent bullying and to avoid prompting workplace violence. Do new-hire processes include background checks? Do orientation and training address violence prevention? Does the compensation and benefits system encourage employees unintentionally to compete too much? Do evaluations address how employees treat others?

"Do not inadvertently reward bad behavior," Hayden cautioned.

Jump to Page

Privacy Preference Center

When you visit any website, it may store or retrieve information on your browser, mostly in the form of cookies. This information might be about you, your preferences or your device and is mostly used to make the site work as you expect it to. The information does not usually directly identify you, but it can give you a more personalized web experience. Because we respect your right to privacy, you can choose not to allow some types of cookies. Click on the different category headings to find out more and change our default settings. However, blocking some types of cookies may impact your experience of the site and the services we are able to offer.

Strictly Necessary Cookies

These cookies are necessary for the website to function and cannot be switched off in our systems. They are usually only set in response to actions made by you which amount to a request for services, such as setting your privacy preferences, logging in or filling in forms. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not then work. These cookies do not store any personally identifiable information.

Performance Cookies

These cookies allow us to count visits and traffic sources so we can measure and improve the performance of our site. They help us to know which pages are the most and least popular and see how visitors move around the site. All information these cookies collect is aggregated and therefore anonymous. If you do not allow these cookies we will not know when you have visited our site, and will not be able to monitor its performance.