WORKPLACE BULLIES……make a stand and say ‘NO’.
Last Friday my children wanted to wear pink to school. I was completely unaware of why but they quickly told me that it was in support of ‘anti-bullying’. My research discovered that last week was the first Bullying free NZ Week.
It certainly is not news to anyone that children of today are prolific users of social media so I decided also to take a look at the Harmful Digital Communications Act 2015 and how that can help those affected by cyberbullying. Previously cyberbullying has been difficult to deal with but this Act provides assistance in this area.
This Act makes sending messages and posting material that deliberately causes serious emotional distress an offence. District Courts are able to issue orders requiring such online material to be removed and there are penalties should someone not meet the requirements of these Court orders.
Having worked in the Human Resources sector or many years I am very aware of how bullying in the workplace can affect those who are recipients of bullying or those that are accused of being a bully (warranted or not).
Often we find the term ‘bully’ being used without actually understanding what would be considered bullying by the Employment Authority.
So, in general, bullying in the workplace is an action that is repeated, is used to gain power or dominance over someone else and has the intention of causing fear, distress or humiliation.
As an employer it should be remembered that you are allowed to give your employee an instruction to do something as long as it is reasonable, legal and within their general duties. An employee may feel distressed and refer to the employer as a ‘bully’ but this may not be the case if it does not fit the above general guide of what a bully is. What may be more useful is for the employer to consider how the instruction is delivered and may be received.
Bullying, whether at schools or in the workplace, is completely unacceptable in my view. To foster a workplace free from these types of repetitive and distressful actions, an employer should consider how their policies support a bullying free workplace. Employers should have information available for staff to access which helps them deal with and raise concerns about workplace bullying.
OurHR can review your terms and conditions and workplace policies to ensure bullying in the workplace is dealt with promptly and effectively.
If you would like to discuss your specific needs or require assistance with any of your ‘people’ issues, please do contact me on firstname.lastname@example.org or 027 677 0129. Contact me now and book a 30 minute free confidential consultation.