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How to prevent bullying in the workplace

Bullying is a major risk to the well-being of Australian workers. Not only can it take a serious toll on the health of individuals, it can also cost an entire company a lot of money in missed productivity.

Like many things, if bullying has reached the point where it is making a notable difference to a company’s bottom line, it really is time to act. Of course, prevention is often the best cure, which means setting up the right processes early on can save your business from having to take corrective action.

One of the best systems to put in place is to regularly consult with employees and any health and safety representatives to monitor overall staff well being. These meetings can also be used to scope out potential areas where bullying might occur, before it takes place.

Another option is to use an anonymous survey to understand the mood within your company. These tools can remove a lot of the fear from those reporting on bullying, while providing you with more honest feedback.

While it is valuable to survey the attitudes of staff, it is also important to address the root causes of bullying. SafeWork Australia advise that workers who operate in highly stressful positions are more likely to suffer from bullying, especially when coupled with a lack of resources and support mechanisms.

Leadership style is also something to be aware of, with autocratic leaders the most likely to descend into workplace bullying. Middle managers who have a habit of unfairly delegating work with very little support is another indicator that issues might arise in the future. Taken together, these factors are good indicators of potential problems in the workplace.

For a more in-depth analysis of bullying in Australian workplaces, make sure you download WorkPro’s free e-book. This contains all of the information you will need to address bullying among employees.

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