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Theft, violence, harassment: welcome to a typical Aussie work Christmas party

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HC Online | 16 Dec 2010, 12:00 AM Agree 0
Over 60% of HR professionals have witnessed harassment in their workplace, according to a recent Human Capital magazine survey conducted for the Sydney HR Summit.
  • Bernie Althofer | 16 Dec 2010, 02:02 PM Agree 0
    Unfortunately, using the excessive consumption of alcholic drinks seems to be an all too common reason used to ''justify'' many forms of inappropriate behaviour. It is not just at Xmas time when executives should be concerned. Rather, any time when there is a possibility that excess consumption could occur, there is a risk that residual alcohol will still be in an individuals body when they are in a workplace. Workplace safety is not just a Monday to Friday issue, and there may be times when the 24/7 approach is not considered. Whilst policies and procedures might provide some guidance as to standards expected, leadership and management is required at all levels. All too often, if the leader is seen to be engaging in or condoning inappropriate behaviour (whether alcohol fuelled or not) the employee may take this as tacit approval to cross the boundary of organisational expectations. Leaving events early because the leader ''knows'' what happens when they are not around, might not be a defence. The majority of people can have a good time and still manage to manage their behaviours towards others even when they have had a ''few too many''. If the workplace culture is such that indiscretions are not managed in a timely fashion, it could be taken to mean that providing no-one complains, no damage is done, and hence the behaviour continues at the next social gathering. It is important to remember that in cases where alcohol incidents occur, a broad range of people and organisations are involved, so it is not just a workplace issue. Once upon a time, the sign of a good send off or party was the number of fights that occurred. Now, a good send off or party is one where people have a good time, no-one loses their job, individual or personal reputations are not damaged, and people still talk to each other in positive terms.
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