HRD forum is the place for positive industry interaction and welcomes your professional and informed opinion.

Federal bullying inquiry finds it’s a billion dollar problem

Notify me of new replies via email
HC Online | 28 Nov 2012, 12:00 AM Agree 0
Six months in the making, the report by the federal government into the problem of bullying has found it costs Aussie businesses between $6bn and $36bn annually – how do we solve this drain?
  • Dr Grant Robertson, UGM Consulting | 28 Nov 2012, 02:18 PM Agree 0
    I'll leave the 'legal' response to others who focus on that area, but would like to highlight the value of helping everyone in the workplace understand how to be more inclusive. A key pillar of this approach is developing personal influence at work. If this is achieved, it is likely to address not only a fair few of the factors which give rise to bullying but also a range of other challenges that impact on both organisational health and performance more generally. UGM Consulting undertook a broad study on Influence at Work in Australian workplaces in October last year. The report is downloadable at
  • Stuart King | 28 Nov 2012, 02:41 PM Agree 0
    Having had input into the process of review by this government I will watch with interest what actually results. Codes of practice and information will provide guidance I am sure. What this review has missed however is creating the opportunity of making things more visible, incentivising organisations (including government) to adopt best practice, rewarding as well as punishing. Perhaps offering tax incentives to private organisations to improve performance on this issue. Giving someone a 'smack' is too late (30 yeras in law enforcement taught me that) .... identifying behavioural risk early, developing a behaviour risk mitigation strategy and creating a highly engaged and respectful culture that encourages performance is the key. Government organisations should take the lead and invest to show what is possible but I suspect they will not. Our national research found the ACT was over represented in reports of bullying through the written word!
    Corporate Australia will drive this innovation, and many or our visionary clients are doing just that.

    My final assessment ? An expected response from a government lacking resolve and real understanding to be innovative in response to a national problem. A missed opportunity.
  • Bernie Althofer | 29 Nov 2012, 11:50 AM Agree 0
    The people who made contributions need to be congratulated on coming forward. The report is detailed but will take some for a comprehensive analysis to be conducted.
    Like many other reports, the devil will be in the detail e.g. implementation.
    It has been interesting to participate in various discussion groups over the past few years, and in that time a raft of strategies have been offered.
    It seems that a strong educative role focusing on prevention is required.

    It also seems that there is an abundance of laws across Australia that could be used to address various forms of bullying.

    It also seems that there is a lack of awareness or understanding as to how these laws can be applied.

    It appears that Australia is considered as the 'benchmark'when it comes to addressing workplace bullying, so it would be excellent to make sure that this is not a missed opportunity. I guess the question is "How will this Report work on the ground?"

    As Stuart has indicated, giving someone a smack does not necessarily work. Understanding and addressing the hazard/risk factors as a proactive measure could be more effective in the long term. Then again, I too like Stuart have a police background, and whether people like it or not, those who get the figures, get the rewards. It seems that rewards are built on the notion that the more effective approach is where there are 'figures' to support action.

    Sometimes, the most effective people are those actually prevent the offence in the first place. We need to change that culture and approach.
  • GWH Lohrey | 29 Nov 2012, 06:42 PM Agree 0
    While bullies are in positions of power, the problems will persist. Bullies are promoted and protected. The object of their dysfunctional behaviour pays the price almost always. The true estimate of damage done is likely to be in excess of $36 billion once you factor in the increased medical costs as a result of damage to health, loss of tax dollars when jobs are lost, etc. Management / HR generally does not handle the issue well.
Post a reply