Bullying and harassment at work are recognised as major problems for employees and employers alike. A recent study by CultureSafe NZ showed New Zealand has the second-worst rate of workplace bullying in the developed world, with one in five workers afflicted.
Workplace bullying is a social issue that needs addressing – it shouldn’t be taken lightly, as injury or illness caused by a person’s behaviour in the workplace is characterised as a hazard under the Health and Safety at Work Act. The consequences of allowing bullying to survive in a workplace culture are profound, long-lasting and damning. In addition to the effects on individuals’ mental and physical health, bullying and harassment can have a serious impact on the efficiency and productivity of the business, and ultimately lead to loss of talent.
Managing this risk should be a standard part of every business’s approach to effective management of health and safety. Like all other health and safety risks, it requires leadership, risk management, honesty and openness. Businesses must recognise bullying and harassment as a risk and have clear processes in place to handle it – from creating a positive culture that promotes respect, and identifies appropriate behaviour and values with people speaking up to a speedy resolution of the allegation.
written by AskYourTeam