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Workplace BullyingRecently there have been a rise in the number of Workplace Bullying incidents that have been reported by the media. In light of this, and PM Gillard’s recent vow to put workplace on the national agenda, we at AlertForce decided to provide you all with some information relating to the Human Resources issue of Workplace Bullying.

What is Workplace Bullying?

Workplace bullying involves any behavior in which an employee is physically, mentally or socially threatened.

What to look out for:

  • frequent painful remarks or verbal attacks, or making fun of your work or you as a person (family, sex, sexuality, gender identity, race or culture, education or economic background)
  • sexual harassment – including any unwelcome physical contact and  comments and requests  that are sexually suggestive
  • excluding you or stopping you from working with people or taking part in activities that relates to your work
  • psychological harassment — group of  individuals ganging up on a single person
  • any type of intimidation, belittlement or making someone appear inferior or undervalued
  • Assigning pointless tasks that have absolutely nothing to do with your job.
  • Granting unrealistic deadlines for impossible jobs
  • pushing, shoving, tripping, grabbing you while at work
  • initiation or hazing : Being compelled to do humiliating or inappropriate things in order to be accepted as part of the team.

 How big of a problem is Workplace Bullying? Is it my’problem even if I’m not bullied?

Workplace bullying has resulted in an ever growing cost to public. Is it your problem? The short answer is a resounding ‘Yes!’. According to the  PM Gillard’s review implemented by The Productivity Commission : the total cost of workplace bullying in Australia is somewhere between $6 billion and $36 billion annually.

As a tax payer, this type of problem affects you. You may ask yourself ” How can I solve this problem? Isn’t it out of my hands?”. Well, it is up to us as employers or employees, to ensure that proper Human Resources training and anti-bullying training is provided to all employees.  If everyone from the bullies to the bullied, understand the risks and the costs and subsequently the effects on business — then this issue can one day be eliminated or at least  helped.

“Costs on Businesses ? What Kind of Costs?!”

Financial costs can include legal and workers’ compensation and management time in addressing cases of workplace bullying.

Individuals who are bullied at work are shown to;

  • become less active,less successful and less confident at work.
  • become fearful,stressed, anxious or depressed thus limited productivity
  • increased staff absences, staff turnover and weak overall workplace morale.

It may be tempting for an employer to overlook something like workplace bullying and focus on more immediate workplace dangers, but the simple fact is — these problems CAN  be avoided, these costs CAN be avoided  —  But  it is up to everyone to bring these issues to light so that everyone can be successful and no one is bullied at work.

Find more information on Human Resources issues (such as Workplace Bullying)

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