Workplace bullying has been in the news a lot lately, with the Federal Government’s push to have complaints directed to a national body, the Fair Work Commission, along with a proposed new definition of bullying. Then there’s the headline-grabbing news that workplace bullies could face fines of up to $33,000.
This makes “right now” a great time to remind your employees of all the wonderful systems your organisation has in place to help prevent bullying and harassment.
We don’t often talk about bullying in our workplace health and wellness programs, except obliquely in regards to mental health, but it’s important.
Take the time to review your policies and procedures, and recirculate them to your teams. You could also arm your team leaders with reminders and key messages to relay to their teams.
The key messages don’t need to be fancy, in fact the simpler the better. A simple, strong : “bullying is not tolerated in this workplace, and all complaints will be dealt with immediately and seriously” will suffice.
Remind team leaders and team members of all the things that are considered bullying, both direct and indirect.
The proposed national definition for bullying is: ‘‘Bullying, harassment or victimisation means repeated, unreasonable behaviour directed towards a worker or a group of workers that creates a risk to health and safety.”
Here’s a handy list from WorkCover NSW:
Examples of direct bullying include:
Examples of indirect bullying include:
Looking for more?
You might also find these resources handy, both for your own benefit and for management at your workplace:
2. Guide for Preventing and responding to workplace bullying, by SafeWorkAustralia
Healthworks provides a range of resources on mental health, including our Mentally Healthy booklet and Positively Well seminar. Our Well At Work newsletter also covers work-related issues such as communication and assertiveness at work. Call us now on 1300 90 10 90 to find out more.