Workplace Bullying is Serious

A recent case in South Australia shocked a fire fighter. He considered his remarks light hearted and made in jest but the court did not accept his comments, especially as he was a supervisor. The court demoted him and criticised management.

Here are 5 tips to minimise bullying:

  • Be very clear – ensure you have detailed bullying, discrimination and harassment policies. This must include steps to be taken when bullying is suspected. Ensure social media and modern communication are addressed.
  • Have an open door – make sure your employees are comfortable reporting bullying to their manager or have an avenue to go down if the manager is the problem.
  • Be pro-active – early intervention is critical. What starts as harmless today can degenerate quickly.
  • No lip service – if you have a policy, follow it and enforce it.
  • Don’t put your head in the sand – failing to act where bullying is suspected, even without a formal complaint, can make you liable under OH&S and industrial laws.