Comment of the week: Addressing bullying behaviours

by Cameron Edmond17 Jan 2014
With new laws surrounding workplace bullying coming into effect at the dawn of 2014, it was a no-brainer that an article on identifying bullies in the workplace was going to gain traction.

However, some fear Aussie employers might be going about it the wrong way. One commenter, Bernie Althofer, shared their thoughts on workplace bullying:

“It can be an issue for some workplaces that put fairly high standards in place and then jump on people for not meeting those standards. In addition, there appears a need to rush in and investigate every time there is a disagreement in the workplace when in some cases the situation is made worse by the environment in which the parties are working, e.g. heavy workloads, short time frames, poor communication styles, lack of awareness, etc, in addition to the hazards such as change, negative leadership styles, etc.

Sometimes those with the real cause for complaint get lost in the system because everyone is running around trying to solve a problem they think is bullying, without first trying to find out exactly what the problem is.

In addition, some people will take a list of descriptors and then try and match their work colleagues with the list. This can be very good way of interrupting the promising career of someone.

It is important to focus on workplace hazards that contribute to situations where individuals feel the need to bully others, or where they feel as they though are being targeted. Unfortunately it seems that addressing these types of workplace hazards falls in the 'too hard basket', and it is probably not helped when risk assessments have not been conducted.”


Thank you to all our commenters this week – keep them coming!

What do you think of Althofer’s comment? Share your thoughts below.
 

COMMENTS

  • by Howard Whitton 17/01/2014 12:40:37 PM

    Bernie's comment struck a chord with me: he onserved - " Sometimes those with the real cause for complaint get lost in the system because everyone is running around trying to solve a problem they think is bullying, without first trying to find out exactly what the problem is."

    I agree base on many years' experience. So I have developed a diagnostic smartphone and tablet app, for use by victims/targets, and managers, who need to get this right before taking action. The app is also intended to help organisations (and directors) to stay out of court by accurately identifying risk factors in advance - before it happens. Happy to discuss.

  • by Cameron 17/01/2014 2:12:19 PM

    Hi Howard, thanks for your comment.

    If you'd like to further discuss your app with the HC team, please shoot an email over to cameron.edmond@keymedia.com.au.

  • by Ferg 17/01/2014 2:41:49 PM

    I agree with the comment about matching people to a list. It happened to me, but luckily was reported in the same order as the list and was obviously contrived. In this case, it got no traction and backfired on the perpetrators.

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