Is Workplace Bullying An Issue?

Basically, bullying constitutes physical or verbal acts which could mentally offend or isolate a person. There are also times that bullying in the workplace constitutes acts that ought to be done where in fact not done, such as releasing of wages or approval of compensation with personal motive at hand. Moreover, it involves repeated incidents or interpersonal behavior patterns which intend to intimidate, offend, degrade or humiliate a person.

Bullying and harassment at work is an issue. Unfortunately, such acts may be hard to quantify so as to be proven in harassment claims. With it, extensive research and studies were done just to draw a fine line between a strong management and a bullying boss. Furthermore, targets of bullying at work may be hard to identify as anyone may fall victim to it: the employee, the employer, the client, and even third persons at work.

Furthermore, dealing with bullies at work may yield different kinds of effects such as shock, anger, frustration, helplessness, vulnerability, loss of confidence, panic, anxiety, tension, stress, and low morale and productivity. Furthermore, it may also cause physical symptoms like sleeplessness and loss of appetite, and even psychosomatic symptoms such as stomach pains and headaches.

Workplace bullying in general affects the overall ?health? of the organization and poses a potential threat to issues like absenteeism, turnover, EAP costs, recruitment, workers? compensation claims, or decreased productivity.

To learn more, click here for full article.

Now is the time for better employment protection against workplace bullying

The present social system may have addressed the inequalities which were found out to be mostly driven by misunderstandings, prejudice, elitism and racism. However, it appeared that it still has to battle another form of contemporary injustice: workers’ protection against abuses at work. What makes the situation worse is such issue does not reach state or federal levels.

General opinion starts fuel up an initial reaction to bullying victims that they should be tougher. Such turns out to be a narrow-minded thinking as it seems to tolerate bullying. Bullying at work negatively affects the organizational culture which in turn, damages productivity and extend to the employees’ lives outside the office.

No reports have been filed due to reasons like fear of retaliation, potential income loss, or personal biases which rendered the victims to remain silent. This culture of impunity, along with the lack of policies and legal protections provided an unwinnable fight for employees bullied at work.

What is alarming is that bullying seems to evolve as bullies no longer solely employ symbolic or overt gestures. This generation now provides for passive acts such as isolation, demeaning behavior, abuse of authority, and blaming the victim as if the abusive behavior is due to the victim’s fault. Generally, legal remedies are available but not of convenience in case of workplace bullying as employees does not fall to a “protected class.” Such virtual impunity does not concretely prevent bullying at work.

To learn more, click here for full article.

Save Your Organization From Workplace Bullying Through a Grievance System

A workplace bullying policy is a system created wherein employees who experience bullying may have a channel to report violations without fear of retaliation. The end goal of the policy is to ensure that everyone is treated with respect, and that bullies are dealt with disciplinary actions and even termination if needed.

It is also important for the superiors to understand the rationale behind the workplace bullying policy so as that they could communicate the same to employees. They must understand its importance, the essentials of an efficient policy, what to expect as benefits for such policy, and how the policy protects the organization in general.

As it is pointed out that bullying downgrades one’s morale, deteriorates productivity, and jeopardizes an organization’s culture, it is a problem which needs addressing. With this, superiors must be able to model a right attitude, initiating a culture of respect in the workplace. The organization must adapt and implement an efficient policy against bullying at work. It is also important that the superiors intervene with office issues and discipline the violators. On the other hand, establishing a proper grievance system is essential as well. Lastly, an active and concrete redress measure for bullying is to conduct trainings on how to handle bullying.

As American jurisprudence shows a bunch of rulings favoring an employee over a hostile work environment, one might think that investing on a workplace bullying policy might save the welfare of the organization.

To learn more, click here to read full article.

PSA: IRD Recommendations on Workplace Bullying Slowly Worked Through

A working group was recently organized including the Public Sector Association which identified some areas requiring some focus for the Inland Revenue Department (IRD), mostly concerning on workplace bullying. On the other hand, IRD, through a report, said that they are making moves to address the workplace issues of their agency. Basil Prestidge, Assistant Secretary of the PSA, said that the recommendations have not yet been implemented, but are being slowly worked through by their organizers.

Prestidge added that little action on dealing with workplace bullying have been made despite a lot of talk. Accordingly, the change for the IRD is aimed to having more efficient tax collectors. However, the incumbent circumstances have created pressure on its employees, Prestidge noted. While not believing that IRD had a toxic working culture, he said that there were issues, particularly those involving managers in smaller IRD offices, which need addressing as there was a significant variability among managers.

Such recommendations have been acknowledged by the IRD’s annual report although nothing had been acted upon yet. However, they believe that changes will occur as they update their human resource policies and guidelines. Recent research reveals that 10% of employees experience discrimination, harassment, or bullying at work in the past 12 months. Another survey suggested that almost one-third of the 16,000 PSA member respondents experienced bullying at workplace.

Click here to read the full article.

How is Australia’s anti-bullying program holding up?

Aside from a new year, the first day of January 2014 was the day that Australia’s anti-bullying regime was introduced at the Fair Work Commission (FWC).  The program provided employees, who became victims of workplace bullying, to report a claim against their employer’s abusive behavior.  This was the first time that Australia passed a legislation to cover bullying at work.

Prior to the implementation of the anti-workplace bullying regime, the FWC was expecting to receive around 3,500 bullying claims every year.  However, reports issued by the FWC indicated that only 874 cases of employees being bullied at work was received by the Commission since its inception until March 2015.

The number is very low.  What’s alarming is that 72 percent of these cases were finalized with an FWC decision and all but 1 bullying application was dismissed.  That means that only 1 among the 874 claims filed to the FWC was granted or deemed successful.

The low numbers of workplace bullying claims filed with the FWC is attributed to the lack of a compensation penalty.  With the current anti-bullying program, the FWC may only impose orders to deal with workplace bullying and prevent it from happening to the claimant again.  This is only applicable to bullying applications that are considered successful.  In such cases, it also allows the FWC to order the company to introduce or enhance workplace policies on bullying.

Another reason to the low numbers may be the hesitation of bullied employees to speak up about the abuse they experienced at work.

To read more about Australia’s anti-bullying program, click here.

Fight workplace bullying with education and a culture of accountability

The medical profession is one of the industries where workplace bullying is most prevalent.  From doctors, nurses and medical staff, instances where a healthcare professional is bullied at work is reportedly rampant.

Addressing bullying at work is a challenging and complex process.  According to experts, dealing with workplace bullying requires a multi-pronged approach which includes education and fostering a culture of accountability.  Workplace bullying is not only the responsibility of HR professionals, everybody in the organization has a part to play in ensuring that it does not happen at work.  Ensuring that bullying in the healthcare industry is dealt with is especially critical since it could ultimately affect the patients.

Employees who experience being bullied at work are less productive and become distracted given the negative working environment.  Medical professionals who become targets of a work place bully may not be able to properly attend to the patients or tasks that require their utmost concentration.  It is scary to think what damage could be done given the distracted attention of a medical staff.

To learn more, click here to read the full article.

Here’s a Simple Principle on How to Tackle Being Bullied at Work

There’s this interesting article written by Elizabeth Cotton in The Conversation, where she listed down a simple principle, along with practical steps that a worker can follow in their battle against workplace bullying.  Cotton’s article is set against the backdrop of an endemic culture of bullying in the medical field, but the tips that she mentioned cuts across industries and generations.

One of the points that Cotton raised is that everyone has a hand in bullying.  It’s not only the work place bully or the victim who are involved, but other people who witnessed the abusive behavior contribute to the situation.  This reportedly includes politicians who would cut budget meant to launch programs to deal with bullying.  Whatever the role may be, Cotton said we all play a part in making bullying an established norm at work.

The article went on to describe how bullying works and some of the coping mechanisms that victims would typically follow such as withdrawal or joining forces with other people with the hope that it would afford some form of protection against the bullying.  What’s interesting is Cotton’s simple principle on how to deal with bullying at work.  Cotton wrote, “Tackling bullying requires sweating the small stuff and taking some small practical steps.”

It may sound simple, but it entails a lot of courage and conviction, especially for a bullying victim.  Still, the steps Cotton enumerated are things that can help to support the victim and help them regain a little bit of their humanity, while they contemplate the next big steps in dealing with work place bullies.

To learn about Elizabeth Cotton’s practical tips to deal with bullying, click here.

Moisturizer Ad for Men Takes on Football Bullies

The presence of bullies can be seen and felt almost everywhere.  Children and adolescents may find a bully in their neighborhood or school, while employees experience bullying at work.  Bullies in the workplace also cuts across various industries and scenarios.  Interestingly, football bullies were also featured in the new Nivea for Men advert.

The less than one minute commercial stars professional football player Adam Lallana and other Liverpool teammates.  The commercial starts with Lallana staring into the camera, before he is subjected to various “tortures” such as a dog licking his face, a child smearing him with paint and a grandmother kissing him.  Aside from those incidents, the British athlete also had to face football bullies who threw two buckets full of ice water at him.  The cold water splash was courtesy of Liverpool teammates Philippe Coutinho and Martin Skrtel.  Another quick scene showed abuse at work when goal keeper Simon Mignolet threw a football directly at his face.  Ouch!

And while the abuse that Lallana endured in the commercial may have been fictional and the workplace bullying scene was part of a script, it still showed how anyone can be targets of workplace bullying.  The act need not be as extreme as the physical tortures that the commercial’s star was subjected to.  Bullying can also be through simple acts or verbal abuse.  In sports, some of these antics may seem like fun and games to other people, but for victims of bullying, it is a painful and stressful experience.

Still, the skin moisturizer advert presented a quick peek of football bullies, and how men can fortify their skin by using the product.


Click here to learn more about the advert.

Workplace Bullying: A Big Issue But Not Taken Seriously

Bullying in the workplace has become a big issue in today’s organization, although many business owners are not taking it seriously.  Such is the case in Brisbane’s workplaces, according to Jonathan Mamaril, principal and director of NB Lawyers, a Brisbane based employment law firm.

Although cases of workers being victims of work place bullies has reached the attention of the Fair Case Commission, legislations covering workplace bullying in the country still doesn’t hold compensatory benefits.  Apart from that, Mamaril also mentioned concerns over companies that considers anti-bullying policies as only a guideline list rather than a regulation that needs to be followed.  This is rather alarming as it gives the impression that workers are more liable to be victims of workplace bullying.  This also indicates that organizations are either not aware or afraid of the consequences of employees being bullied at the workplace.

Currently, the Commission requires business owners found to have breached anti-workplace bullying regulations to develop internal policies to address the issue.  These internal mandates and procedures are meant to either solve workplace bullying or avoid such instances to happen again.  Aside from internal policies, another typical add-on to an anti-bullying program is to set up workplace bullying prevention training.

However, these steps and programs are not sure fire ways to lessen instances of being a victim of bullying at work.  Although, a recent case of work related bullying and the Commission’s judgement for the company to reform its workplace, should serve as a good example to other businesses to keep a healthy organization and work environment for its workers.

Click here to read more about Jonathan Mamaril’s insights on workplace bullying published at Brisbane Legal.