Today, Friday 16 March, Australian schools will stand united to celebrate the eighth National Day of Action against Bullying and Violence.
While the day aims to address bullying in Australian schools, it’s also a good reminder of the importance of preventing bullying and harassment in the workplace.
Bullying and harassment in the workplace is a serious issue for many Australian workers.
When an employee is suffering bullying or harassment, they are very likely to start displaying unhappy, unmotivated, distracted and unproductive behaviour. Employers can then expect to see a rise in levels of absenteeism, sick leave and staff turnover for their company.
In this way, when bullying becomes a problem in the workplace, it doesn’t just affect the person or people being harassed and targeted. It can very quickly become a problem for the whole company, with poor performance rates, reduced productivity, and low morale across the organisation.
It’s really important that you have a very clear idea of what behaviour is unacceptable in the workplace, to help prevent bullying from occurring.
People who bully or harass others can be very good at using non-verbal tactics or subtle humiliation, instead of direct threats. They often know just how far to push their behaviour, without crossing the line into physical violence or sexual harassment.
Bullying may take the form of continual snide comments about a colleague, putting someone down whenever they pitch ideas to the team, or outright hostility towards another team member. Bullies might also make a point of excluding certain people from team conversations, meetings or project work.
However, whatever form it takes, bullying is a type of abuse – a way of intimidating and dominating others, through physical, emotional or psychological control. And all forms are unacceptable. Turning a blind eye or overlooking bad behaviour is sending a message that it’s accepted or tolerated in the work environment.
As a team leader, manager or employer, you can (and should!) play a strong role in preventing and addressing workplace bullying.
Develop and implement a strong bullying and harassment policy, to show your commitment to providing a safe and productive environment for your employees, while promoting a positive work culture for all. This policy will also ensure your organisation is compliant in this area.
For staff, your anti-bullying policy will help them to accurately recognise and define unacceptable behaviour in the workplace, while guiding them to the appropriate resources and contacts for assistance.
You can also use online training courses to make sure all employees are well-informed of the organisation’s stance and policies on bullying, and know exactly where to go for information and who to contact in the event of bullying or harassment.
Ready to start educating your employees and managers on what is (and what isn’t) bullying, while creating a safer, more inclusive workplace?
Sign up to Go1 Premium today to access bullying and harassment prevention training, plus access to an extra 600+ off-the-shelf courses.
Our online courses help employees understand, recognise and prevent bullying behaviour in the workplace, providing an understanding of:
For more information on bullying and harassment in the workplace, you may also like to read: