Hello and welcome to the WorkPro blog for the first video in our series on workplace bullying.
Between 2008 and 2015, WorkPro conducted four opt-in surveys among individuals about to complete online inductions. With a total sample size of nearly 24,000 people, the objective of the surveys was to compare individuals’ understanding, experiences and beliefs about the prevalence of bullying among the Australian workforce today.
Although workplace bullying can include physical violence, that’s just one form of the problem. It may also be verbal and psychological abuse, as well as unnecessary job pressures, such as burdening an employee with an excessive amount of work for no good reason.
Not all unpleasant behaviour qualifies as bullying, of course. WorkSafe Australia provides two important criteria for the category: The activity must be both unreasonable and repeated.
Unreasonable means you’d interpret it as victimising, harassment, intimidation or something along those lines – so not your normal constructive criticism or disagreement. Rather than a one-time mistake, it needs to be repeated, ongoing behaviour.
Keep in mind that bullying comes in many forms. It might be the teammate who purposefully humiliates his colleague, or it could be the manager who sends demeaning messages over email. According to WorkPro’s surveys, only about two-thirds of workers are confident they would recognise if their rights are being violated – which means we need to spend more time educating employees about bullying.
Because it can take a real toll on the victim’s well-being, this is something we all need to be aware of and address.
For additional information about workplace bullying, tips and hints for all parties, check out WorkPro’s free e-book, available for download on our website.