Workplace bullying is repeated and unreasonable behaviour directed towards a worker or group of workers that creates a risk to health and safety.
Examples of workplace bullying include offensive language, intimidating behaviour, belittling comments, practical jokes or unjustified criticism.
Bullying in the workplace is often the result of poor workplace culture supported by an environment which allows this behaviour to occur.
Identifying and dealing with bullying and other workplace conflict early helps promote respectful behaviour and prevents bullying from becoming accepted behaviour.
In 2019, 22.0% of employees reported a personal experience of bullying at their current workplace. (Superfriend 2019 National Report – Indicators of a Thriving Workplace Survey).
Inexperienced younger workers, apprentices and trainees are at particular risk of victimisation, unwanted attention, and other bullying behaviours.
A cohesive culture, built on respect and inclusiveness, ‘calls out’ harassment, discrimination, victimisation and bullying of any kind, and has zero tolerance to these behaviours. Clear workplace policy and procedures ensure a consistent approach to prevent and respond to workplace bullying.
It also ensures that everyone in the workplace understand that these behaviours are not only damaging to workplace morale and productivity, but unlawful as not effectively managing or dealing with workplace bullying can breach Victorian Occupational Health and Safety Act and Regulations.
No matter how ‘robust’ a workplace culture, there can be no place for bullying nor harassment of any kind.
© 2019 The LITTLE BLUE BOOK OF WORKPLACE MENTAL HEALTH – page 42-43