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How to beat bullies in the workplace

Bullying & HarassmentFebruary 10, 2016

How to beat bullies in the workplace (Last Updated On: February 10, 2016)

According to WorkCover ACT the cost of workplace bullying is significant, amounting to more than $6 billion a year to the Australian economy.

In your workplace, the costs of bullying can be felt through indirect expenditure such as absenteeism, labour turnover, loss of productivity and perhaps even legal costs.

Did you know the average costs associated with bullying and stress claims are higher than the average physical injury claim?

The Fair Work Act states that bullying constitutes an individual or group of individuals repeatedly behaving unreasonably towards a worker or a group of workers at work, creating a risk to health and safety.

In a report run by Safe Work Australia, the following factors were a focus in determining bullying in workplaces and can assist employers and business owners to identify if bullying is an issue.

Indicators to look out for:

– incidents of swearing or yelling
– workers being humiliated in front of others
– staff experiencing discomfort due to sexual humour
– unwanted sexual advances
– unfair treatment due to gender/age/socioeconomic status and other demographics


Here is a bullying assessment to help identify the prevalence of bullying in your workplace.

 Workplace Bullying Assessment Never happens in my workplace Yes, this happens sometimes or a bit Yes, this is happening in my workplace
1.  Your staff have low tolerance for mistakes and poor performance 1 2 3
2.  Your staff are heard talking down to other people 1 2 3
3. No one really pays attention to how staff behaviours affect other people’s feelings 1 2 3
4. There has been intense conflict with staff members in the past 1 2 3
5.  Your staff are micromanaged 1 2 3
6. Your staff are rarely praised for good work 1 2 3
7. Your staff are guilty of spreading gossip 1 2 3
8. There are arguments and at times raised voices and yelling 1 2 3
9. When stressed your staff are not very pleasant to be around 1 2 3
10.  Your staff currently hold, a grudge or two against others 1 2 3
(Source Employment Background Investigations, Inc. Are you a Workplace Bully?)


If you answered mostly 2 or 3 in this assessment you may have a problem with bullying.

Any concerns surrounding bullying in your workplace must be investigated carefully. Employers have a tough time identifying and gathering evidence in order to change behaviours or to stop the bullying, however, Employsure can help. We will explain what constitutes bullying and assist in identifying if it has occurred in your workplace. We also support you in acting upon this and managing your staff.

If you would like to talk to a qualified employment relations specialist about bullying in your workplace, call Employsure today on 1300 651 415.

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