Workplace Bullying is a Serious Issue
Half of all Australian employees claim to have witnessed ‘workplace bullying’ in the last twelve months.
The study, conducted by Drake International, shows that of the 800 Australia-wide employees surveyed, more than 50 per cent had claimed to have witnessed ‘bullying’ behaviour in the past twelve months, while a quarter said they had been a target of bullying in the workplace.
Thirty per cent of bullying targets and 50 per cent of witnesses were unhappy with the way their organisation had handled incidents of bullying. ‘Downwards’ bullying from managers or supervisors was reported in around 50 per cent of the cases, with a further 25 per cent experiencing ‘sidewards’ bullying from workmates and colleagues.
It is important to note that upwards bullying can also be an issue, and sometimes legitimate behaviours (such as giving instructions or feedback) can be interpreted as bullying.
However, whether this is the case or not, it is important that businesses have appropriate policies and procedures in place to ensure that staff are aware that genuine acts of bullying or intimidation are unacceptable, and how they can report such incidents.