Horseplay isn’t just for students. Plenty of adults also engage in physical roughhousing, and if such behavior occurs on the job, it can quickly turn into a liability. Not only can your employees cause injuries to each other, but they also could be targeting someone who doesn’t want to be part of it. In that case, the horseplay turns into bullying. Today is National Stop Bullying Day, and it’s a good time to remember that bullying can happen at any age, in any environment.
CM Regent helps school districts minimize risks so they are less likely to encounter unfortunate situations. The following are some of the risks of horseplay, which could involve the foolish use of equipment, unauthorized contests, or playing pranks on someone else.
- Reduce quality and productivity in the workplace. Any employee who has to constantly look over their shoulder, wondering if someone is going to play a prank on them, is less likely to be able to concentrate fully on work.
- Increase the risk of violence. An employee who is embarrassed by a prank could seek revenge.
- Cause damage to equipment and technology. Depending on the nature of the pranks or contests, your employees could cause hundreds or thousands of dollars in damages—and someone could get hurt in the process.
The following are ways you can discourage horseplay in the workplace:
- Develop a written policy. The policy should state that horseplay is never acceptable, and it should list consequences for engaging in horseplay. But remember, a policy doesn’t do anything if you don’t enforce it.
- Empower supervisors to enforce the policy. Supervisors should communicate to their staff frequently that horseplay is not an appropriate behavior.
- Encourage staff to report incidents. Supervisors aren’t always around, so the best way for administrators to know when something is awry is for other staff members to make reports. Many staff members might be concerned about being labeled a “snitch,” however, so give them an opportunity to make anonymous reports.
- Make sure your employees stay busy. Often bored employees become destructive employees. Supervisors will want to keep track of their employees’ workload and assign more work if needed.
Not only is horseplay destructive in the workplace, but it also sets a bad example for students. Your students view all the employees in your buildings as role models—not just teachers.