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Are your employees ganging up on one another?

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HC Online | 19 Apr 2016, 09:54 AM Agree 0
In a recent bullying decision, the FWC was not satisfied that the test of ‘repeated unreasonable behaviour while at work' had been met.
  • Bernie Althofer | 19 Apr 2016, 12:06 PM Agree 0
    Over a period of time, decisions made based on information and evidence presented to various Courts, Commissions and Tribunals have increased the need for organisations to constantly review their policies and procedures relating to the prevention, detection, reporting and resolution of counterproductive workplace behaviours such as bullying and harassment. As those Courts, Commissions and Tribunals place their interpretation of what is meant in relation to various 'tests', individuals may become increasing frustrated with those policies procedures that should be there to help them.

    Unfortunately, in some cases, the time taken for a decision to flow down and across an organisation may mean that an individual will instigate action without realising that a decision has already been made that will have an impact on their action.

    Whilst past contributors to the world of bullying have made detailed comments and observations what types of bullying e.g. gang etc, this decision is a timely reminder for organisations and individuals not to rest on their laurels.

    Breaking down the test into elements may assist in creating an increased understanding of what is required to show the behaviours are actually repeated and unreasonable and at work. Whilst learning and development is offered in various formats, and whilst it appears from some recent discussions that some individuals do complete the L&D requirements of their organisation, they may have very little actual understanding of the complexities.

    Individuals who genuinely and reasonably believe that they have been subjected to or targeted by individuals or even a group of individuals may find that their case would have been greatly assisted with documentation that shows the frequency, severity and action taken, along with evidence of those involved. In some cases, the behaviours used may not fall under some interpretations of what is reasonable behaviour, but may be indicative of a breach of a Code of Conduct e.g. fail to treat someone with respect and dignity.

    In some cases, the apparent disconnect between the people involved and the behaviours being used to target to an individual are not clear. It is only when all behaviours and people involved are subjected to a critical analysis that they can be connected. Those who believe they are being 'ganged up on' should not loose heart with this decision. Instead they should look at ways of showing that the behaviours were unreasonable and that there are patterns involved, with some covert or overt involvement of one or more participants. Collecting relevant information is important.
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