Posts Tagged ‘employer solution’

The Workplace Bullying Institute solution for the NFL bullying problem

Thursday, November 14th, 2013

10 Steps to Ensure an Abuse-Free NFL Workplace

1.  The change must be at the NFL level and not remain buried within the Dolphins organization alone. 

2.  Be careful to not move from zero awareness to zero tolerance. The most extreme swing will make compliance officers of all coaches and compel snitching among players. Resentment would ensue. Allow time to learn new ways to interact. Tolerate up to two offenses prior to termination.

3.  Create a policy to draw “the line in the sand.” Unacceptable conduct must be specified. Behavioral standards must exist for comparison’s sake.

4.  Demand that the policy pertain to all employees — owners to rookie players and all coaches in between. Apply the standards consistently. Do not resolve on a “case-by-case” basis that allows for exemptions for favorites.

5.  Before formal complaints can be filed, require that bullied players first consult with a member of an Expert Peers Team trained in the nuances of workplace bullying so that the ambiguous experiences can be clarified, strategies provided and information about the policy and procedures explained safely and confidentially.

6.  Write the policy or code to address only the most severe, health-harming forms of abusive conduct that has absolutely nothing to do with performance (playing the game successfully). 

7.  Allow non-humiliating rituals to continue (such as rookies gathering helmets at the end of games … see coach Pete Carroll). Render extinct hazing, intimidation, financial extortion, and other non-physical forms of abuse.

8.  Devise safe, non-retaliatory, non-stigmatizing procedures that enable complaint filing and 3rd party investigations.

9.  Provide healing, restorative justice solutions for affected targets, bullies and witnessing coworkers. 

10.  Identify veteran & retired players known for toughness (e.g., Ray Lewis) who can be league ambassadors on the topic.

Roger Goodell, call me at 360-656-6630.
Gary Namie, PhD

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Proctor: What your company can learn from the Miami Dolphins

Thursday, November 14th, 2013

By Patrick Proctor,, Nov. 8, 2013

You don’t need to be an NFL football fan to appreciate how poorly the Miami Dolphins as an organization has handled their personnel issues of late. Last week it was widely reported that a Miami Dolphin’s lineman complained about being harassed and bullied by a teammate. Later it was reported that the organization encouraged the “toughening up” of the player (who reported being bullied after-the-fact).

Although there are significant differences between being in the employ of an NFL team and a more conventional employer, there are a great many more similarities.

The Dolphins, apparently, have permitted bullying (carefully coded as “hazing”) to be allowed both in the locker room and on the field – in other words, in the players’ workplace, because the football field is just as much a “workplace” as your office or manufacturing floor might be.
Just so that we’re clear, bullying has many definitions, but the one that the Workplace Bullying Institute uses is: “Bullying is a systematic campaign of interpersonal destruction that jeopardizes your health, your career, the job you once loved. Bullying is a non-physical, non-homicidal form of violence and, because it is violence and abusive, emotional harm frequently results” (Gary Namie, PhD.).

Since US employment law does not (yet) explicitly state that workplace bullying is “illegal” this topic largely goes ignored until it enters into a more “recognizable” harassment complaint. Be warned though, those who procrastinate, ignore or pretend that it will go away will, more than likely, find themselves in court, on their way to court or attempting to avoid court (via arranging a financial settlement of some kind).



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