Workplace bullying is a risk to health and safety. It may affect your mental and physical health.
Everyone has a duty to help prevent workplace bullying.
In this edition of Spotlight On, we’ll discuss what bullying is, how to identify it, and what to do if you or someone else is a victim.
What is workplace bullying?
Workplace bullying is defined by behaviour that is repeated and unreasonable directed toward a worker or group of workers that creates risk to health and safety. Examples include, but aren’t limited to:
abusive, insulting or offensive language and comments
aggressive and intimidating conduct
belittling or humiliating comments
practical jokes or initiation
unjustified criticism or complaints
deliberately excluding someone from work-related activities
withholding information that is vital to effective work performance
setting unreasonable timelines or constantly changing deadlines
setting tasks that are unreasonably below or beyond a person’s skill level
denying access to information, supervision, consultation or resources to the detriment of the worker
spreading misinformation or malicious rumours, or
changing work arrangements, such as rosters or leave, to deliberately inconvenience a particular worker or workers.
Okay, that makes sense, so what isn’t bullying?
A single incident of unreasonable behaviour is not workplace bullying, however it may be repeated or escalate, so it shouldn’t be ignored.
Reasonable Management Action Taken in a Reasonable Way.
It is reasonable for your manager or coordinator to allocate work and give you feedback about your performance. This isn’t
Bullying does not include reasonable management action taken against an employee. It is reasonable for managers and coordinators to allocate work and to give fair feedback on an employee’s performance. These actions cannot be considered workplace bulling if they are carried out in a reasonable manner and take into account specific circumstances.
Reasonable management actions include:
setting reasonable performance goals, standards and deadlines
rostering and allocating working hours
transferring a worker for operational reasons
deciding not to select a worker for promotion where a reasonable process has been followed
informing a worker of their unsatisfactory work performance
informing a worker of their unreasonable or inappropriate behaviour in an objective and confidential way
implementing organisational change or restructuring
taking disciplinary action including suspension or termination of employment
What are the risks?
The effects of workplace bullying don’t end when you leave work. Being a victim of bullying can cause physical and psychological health problems, loss of motivation, stress. It’s important to address it before it becomes a larger issue.
Responding to the problem
Lifestyle Centred Services sees it in our best interests to confront the issue and maintain a bullying-free workplace. Prevention is better than intervention and mediation. It’s also the right thing to do because we care about our employees!
We strive to create an environment that cultivates teamwork, cooperation, and positive interaction – because, after all, we’re here to care for others – one of the most important jobs in the world.
Do you want to read more about our Policy? You can download it below – and don’t forget you have access to our full range of documents via our Employee Hub “Quality Management System” section (you’ll need your username and password!)