We all hear about the accidents that kill and maim, but consider the matters that are rarely discussed, like bullying in the workplace, and it’s sometimes fatal effects. Sometimes we might hear about how someone is badly behaved toward others, but how often is the behaviour identified and addressed?
There is now plenty of information about the high suicide rates in NZ, and how the effects of bullying can lead to self-harm.
The very best way to reduce the effects of bullying is to reduce the likelihood of the behaviours being perpetuated in the first place.
- Having open discussions with your team about what bullying behaviour is and how harmful it can be is a good place to start, then ensuring there is a clear agreed multi-pathway system in place for individuals to access support should they feel bullied.
- Discussions should begin right from the start with an employment agreement that makes a clear statement about bullying not being accepted in the workplace, and an induction process that supports each new worker in understanding how they can get help should they have any concerns.
- That one person who targets another may be perfectly ok with everyone else – until the target leaves under the pressure of being the target – and another becomes the target.
- If there isn’t a known process then it is too hard, when you are already distressed, to figure out what to do.
- A sample template is attached below, sourced from the WorkSafe NZ web site.
If you need some help in setting up safe systems to manage risks in your organisation, contact me to find out if we can work together to transform communication and support for wellbeing in your workplace.