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Work Health and Safety Blog

There's so much happening in the world of health & safety. Changes in legislation and requirements, changes in best practice, changes in ... you name it. Here's my take on making it simple. Simply Genius WHS - stop guessing... manage with confidence.

Don't ignore bullying and harassment - 6 steps for better management

Maralyn Kastel - Monday, August 11, 2014

One of the often ignored problems in the workplace has to do with bullying and harassment. One would think that this sort of behaviour among adults is rare, or that it somehow got left on the playgrounds of our youth. But the problem is that is still remains a real problem within the workplace and there is a certain amount of liability attached to it as well.

There are many forms of bullying and harassment too, making it harder to handle when it occurs among your workers. To make it more complicated, it also sometimes occurs between management and lower level employees, which makes the situation more problematic. Here are some things your business can do to prevent and combat bullying and harassment in the workplace and minimise your risk when it comes to potential legal issues in this area:
  1. Educate workers at all levels about the definitions of bullying and harassment and the potential problems associated with it.
  2. Remind supervisors and managers not to undue coercion to get them to do what they need them to do.
  3. Create a sense of pride and self-actualisation among all workers in your company, so that they will feel important and have less of a need to undermine others.
  4. Distribute literature on what constitutes harassment (including sexual harassment, such as jokes, innuendos, and other actions) so that there is no misunderstanding of the terms.
  5. Have a complaint procedure which manages bullying and harassment and investigates all incidents in a manner which respects both parties.
  6. Make sure all your workers know the procedures if an allegation is made

Understanding the dynamics of bullying and harassment goes a long way toward combating it in your company before it becomes a problem. If you work to instill a sense of pride in all workers and let them know there are policies in place which protect them, they are more likely to comply with them.

If you need advice on anything regarding your business, need accreditation services, or other help, contact us. Remember, the devil's in the details and we are the Detail Devils. 

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