Tips for Managers

As a manager, it is your responsibility to maintain a workplace environment free from disrespectful behavior. You are required to

  • behave respectfully, in accordance with University policies
  • serve as a role model of respectful behavior
  • treat seriously all legitimate employee complaints concerning mistreatment or abuse
  • ensure all employees understand that bullying and forms of abuse are not tolerated at UVA
  • take early corrective action to deal with behavior that may be offensive or intimidating


Ways to Maintain a Respectful Workplace

Understand Harassment, Retaliation, and Confidentiality

Review the following pages for definitions, University policy, and other useful information regarding harassment, retaliation, and confidentiality:

In addition, please note

  • bullying and other forms of abuse or mistreatment may also constitute illegal harassment

  • you should never take any action that might reasonably be perceived as retaliation against employees who make complaints

  • maintain confidentiality unless you are made aware of inappropriate behavior; as an agent of the University, you have the responsibility to act

  • information should only be discussed with those who have a legitimate need to know

  • if you are not sure how to proceed, immediately contact your manager or an HR representative


Document Misconduct

Proper documentation is important for case resolution. When you become aware of employee concerns of mistreatment or abuse, document what is happening.

Documentation of a complaint should be clear and detailed, and you should note events in chronological order.


Offer Resources

Familiarize yourself with the Respect@UVA Resources page in the left menu above so you know what is available to employees in stressful situations.

The Faculty and Employee Assistance Program (FEAP) (434.243.2643) can assist when an incident has a major impact on an employee’s emotional well-being.


Take Action

Informal Solutions

  • Talk about the problem with your supervisor, department management, HR representative, FEAP consultant, or University Ombuds
  • Do not hesitate to contact someone even when an incident occurs only once; they may be able to suggest a resolution

Disciplinary Actions

  • Learn How to File a Complaint
  • The Complaint Reporting System is not designed to replace normal University disciplinary procedures
  • Once an investigation is undertaken and evidence is produced that bullying or other mistreatment has occurred, be prepared to hold the offenders accountable through the Standards of Conduct or relevant faculty procedure

Lead by Example

You are expected to be a role model for respectful behavior. Take time to reflect and make sure you are not behaving in a way others may interpret as disrespectful.

If you are not sure, think about the following questions:

  • Do you think your standards are high and wonder why others do not seem to care as much as you?
  • Is it impossible for you to make your contributions subordinate to those of others?
  • At work, are you excluded from social events?
  • At meetings, are your ideas never met with dissenting views?
  • Is the employee turnover rate in units you supervise higher than elsewhere in the organization?
  • Is absenteeism so high that production is sub-par?
  • Do you see decline in the pool of available talent, so that no new hires seem acceptable?

You may be able to turn to your staff for feedback on how to improve the situation.