Create A Bully-Proof Work Environment

Do you have a safe workplace? We’re not talking about trip hazards or fire safety systems. Safety must also include a secure workplace environment, free from the risk of breeding a bullying culture.

 

Indeed, as beyondblue CEO, Georgie Harman, stated, “Bullying occurs because of cultural, organisational and structural issues in the workplace.”

That’s right, your work environment plays a crucial role in making people feel safe from bullying and harassment.

So, how safe is your work environment? Here are three factors to consider:

Stress

Stress can be a bullying trigger. According to Headsup, workplace stressors, such as poorly defined roles and systems are a significant factor in bullying incidences. It exposes your people as potential victims because there are no set guidelines in place to stop bullies from abusing via work-related tasks. It also makes stressed-out employees likely to behave poorly towards colleagues.

Set out specific guidelines on work hours, structure and scope. Make it clear who is accountable for completing work and be consistent in how you evaluate employees. You never want to promote bullying unintentionally due to vagueness.

Organisational culture

Bad cultures breed bullying. As stated on the outset, workplace culture is a significant risk factor. Ask yourself: Is your company promoting behaviours which deter or encourage bullying? How do you respond to bad behaviour? Are there consequences? Are offending employees dealt with swiftly?

The Australian Human Rights Commission also has a list of behaviours that amount to bullying. It’s worth reviewing and reflecting on whether you, as a leader, observe these among your staff.

Mental wellbeing

Good mental health among your employees can avert bullying. SafeWork Australia mentions that fostering staff’s mental health is an essential step in managing the risk of workplace bullying.

Perhaps you need resources so employees can deal with mental health situations before serious issues arise. WorkScore’s MindHub is an excellent tool that’s always available to you and your staff. Not only can you access 24/7 confidential counselling, but you can also make use of the tools and articles that help you prevent poor mental health at work.

Protect your people. Bully-proof your workplace. Eliminate work stress, promote a positive organisational culture and look after your staff’s mental health to ensure safety from all dangers.

For more about your responsibility as an employer when it comes to bullying and harassment, read this useful article from our WellHub.