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Bullying & harrassment in the workplace


Published on

What is Harassment
What is Workplace Bullying
Look at some statistics
Implications on the workplace
Responsibilities of employers/supervisors
Legal Obligations
Minimizing the Risk
Assessment Task

Published in: Business, Career
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Bullying & harrassment in the workplace

  1. 1. Bullying & Harassmentin the WorkplacePresented toMay 19 2006Presented byEsther Hudson 1
  2. 2. About EstherCorporate trainerHR consultantWorkplace solutions 2
  3. 3. BEHAVING BADLY……...HarassmentIn the Workplace 3
  4. 4. About Today’s SessionWhat is HarassmentWhat is Workplace BullyingLook at some statisticsImplications on the workplaceResponsibilities of employers/supervisorsLegal ObligationsMinimising the RiskAssessment Task 4
  5. 5. AgendaOverviewTypical Situation10 am coffeeCase Study12 noon - lunchWhat you can do2:30 coffeeCase Study 5
  6. 6. Learning OutcomesWhat we hope to achieve today: Identify examples of sexual harassment & workplace bullying Understand the effect that this type of harassment has on your workplace Understand the company’s expectations regarding appropriate workplace behaviour Identify resolution pathways to deal with harassment problems effectively 6
  7. 7. What is Workplace BullyingBullying is the repeated, less favourable treatment of an individual by one or more people in the workplace Workplace bullying can be simply described as “Bad Behaviour” which is unreasonable & inappropriate 7
  8. 8. Examples of Bullying Yelling or abuse Constant criticism of work Impossible deadlines Constantly changing targets Deliberately withholding work-related information or resources Making someone the brunt of teasing, pranks or practical jokes Tampering with personal effects or equipment Giving tasks which are meaningless or beyond the skill of the person 8
  9. 9. Effects of Harassment Reduced efficiency, productivity & profitability Adverse Publicity/Erosion of Company image Increased absenteeism Staff turnover Costs associated with counselling, recruitment, compensation claims Legal costs associated with defending civil or criminal charges Loss of sleep, loss of appetite & low morale Feelings of anger, humiliation, frustration, depression, stress, powerlessness Kainai Family Services Workshop 9
  10. 10. Types of BulliesThe Gatekeeper The Constant Critic 10
  11. 11. Types of BulliesTwo Headed Snake The Screaming Mimi 11
  12. 12. The Statistics - Bullying Men & Women bullied/bully in equal numbers Women bullies target women 84% of the time Men bullies target women 69% of the time Vast majority of bullies are bosses (81%) Source: Campaign against workplace bullying 2000 (USA) New research from Griffith University estimates the cost to Australian employers is between $6 billion & $36 billion a year Source: HR Monthly February 2002 12
  13. 13. Other Facts………………..Women are more likely to report bullyingAbout 1 victim in 100 either attempts or succeeds to commit suicideMost people who are bullied report damage to their healthOverwhelming majority of bullies are repeat offendersBullying is responsible for 1 resignation in 4 13
  14. 14. Duty of Care employers have a responsibility to ensure the health & welfare of their workers under the Workplace Health & Safety Rules In the area of employment, employers can be held liable for the wrongs committed by their employees in the course of work This is referred to as Vicarious Liability 14
  15. 15. Vicarious LiabilityMeans that if an employeeharasses a co-worker, client,customer etc, the employer canbe held legally responsible andmay be liable for damages Kainai Family Services Workshop 15
  16. 16. Zero ToleranceAre you aware of your workplace policies on Harassment & Workplace Bullying?Policies should have strong opening statements regarding the company’s attitude to harassment in the workplaceAwareness among staff as a key strategy in addressing harassmentZero tolerance approach! Kainai Family Services Workshop 16
  17. 17. If you are being harassed…Tell the person to stop!Report it to your:Supervisor/Manager HR ManagerField Officer/Trainer Keep a record of the harassment When, Where, Who Saw It Kainai Family Services Workshop 17
  18. 18. On the attack?Some staff may experience bullying violence or aggressionWhat sort of bullying, violence or aggression? Kainai Family Services Workshop 18
  19. 19. Common Forms of BullyingAggressive shouting, banging, throwingHuffing, stomping, taking overExaggerating faults, blaming, getting people into troublePublic humiliation, set up to failInconsistent discipline, arbitrary treatmentGossip & rumour Kainai Family Services Workshop 19
  20. 20. Profile of the victimNot all weak and incompetentBetter than average performersConscientious and diligentPopular, source of help and adviceTolerant, do not fight back or retaliateStrong morals, integrityIsolated, not part of a clique Kainai Family Services Workshop 20
  21. 21. What is bullying? Repeated, unreasonable or inappropriate behaviour at the place of work or in the course of employment that is intimidating, insulting, offensive, demeaning, or humiliating others. Kainai Family Services Workshop 21© Human Factor Australia
  22. 22. Workplace Bullying Behaviours Three categories – Verbal abuse – Non-verbal abuse – Physical abuse Research: •Verbal abuse was the most common form of workplace bullying •Second most common, “making you feel inferior” •Third most common, “belittling behaviour” Victorian WorkCover, 2003 Kainai Family Services Workshop 22© Human Factor Australia
  23. 23. Workplace Bullying Behaviours  Verbal abuse – Put downs, humiliating jokes and comments, constant teasing – Yelling, name calling, swearing, snide remarks, sarcasm – Unfair criticism – Negative comments about someone’s sexual orientation – Unwelcome comments about someone’s race, religion or background – Threats and intimidation Kainai Family Services Workshop 23© Human Factor Australia
  24. 24. Workplace Bullying Behaviours (cont..)  Non-verbal Abuse – Rude gestures and disrespectful facial expressions – Unfair workloads – Withholding of resources or information needed to undertake work – Unnecessary changes in work patterns or conditions – Denying access to rights or promotions – Isolation and exclusion – Stalking – Displaying offensive material – Leering Kainai Family Services Workshop 24© Human Factor Australia
  25. 25. Workplace Bullying Behaviours (cont..) Physical Abuse – Unwelcome pranks, horse-play and practical jokes – Invading personal space and stand over tatics – Uninvited touching or brushing against someone – Pushing, shoving, hitting, tripping, spitting – Damage to personal property Kainai Family Services Workshop 25© Human Factor Australia
  26. 26. Bullying Facts & Figures 46% of Australians have been verbally or physically abused by someone at work (Morgan Poll, Finding No.3091, June 1998) 10% of the workforce nationally experience bullying at any one time (Rob Hulls, Victorian Minister for Industrial Relations, Feb 2003) Kainai Family Services Workshop 26© Human Factor Australia
  27. 27. Who gets bullied? Who does the bullying?  Bullying usually comes from within the workplace: – A manager or supervisor may bully a subordinate – An employee may bully another employee – A group of employees may gang up on another employee or group – Very rarely a customer or client may bully an employee – Targets are most likely to be women, young people and those in precarious or insecure employment, such as casual employees or sub-contractors Kainai Family Services Workshop 27© Human Factor Australia
  28. 28. Reported bullying is a tip of the iceberg Why don’t people report bullying – Fail to recognise it even though they feel bad – Hold mistaken beliefs (it will go away) – Feel embarrassed (Don’t know how to ask for help) – Are afraid of retaliation – Are afraid of losing their job – Think no one will believe them (your word against mine) Kainai Family Services Workshop 28© Human Factor Australia
  29. 29. Signs of Bullying  A sudden loss or gain of weight  Unusually tired, lethargic and disinterested  Quiet and withdrawn  Being easily brought to tears or angered  Regular headaches  Fall behind in work or make simple mistakes  Isolated from their peers  Unexplained increase in absences Kainai Family Services Workshop 29© Human Factor Australia
  30. 30. Impacts on People Undermines a persons self-esteem and self-confidence Increases our level of anxiety and creates stress Can be both physical and psychological as the bullying is repeated over time – can become chronic Kainai Family Services Workshop 30© Human Factor Australia
  31. 31. Impacts on workplaces  Direct Costs – Lost productivity, lowered performance and increased accidents – Increase absenteeism – Low staff morale – Cost of stress claims, compensation, litigation or court fines – Higher insurance premiums Research estimates that the average cost of a case of ‘serious’ workplace harassment (for example where the workplace harassment persists for at least a six- month period) is between $17,000 and $24,000). QLD Workforce Bullying Task Force, 2002. Cont….. Kainai Family Services Workshop 31© Human Factor Australia
  32. 32. Impacts on workplaces  Indirect Costs – Recruitment, replacement and induction/training for a new employee when an employee leaves due to bullying (estimated at 50%-200% of the exiting employee’s annual salary) – Increased workloads on co-workers – Loss of knowledge and expertise – Loss of customers to competitors – Reputation on the line – deters future quality employees About 75% of victims leave workplaces because of bullying. Bullies rarely do. Source: Namie & Namie, 2000 Kainai Family Services Workshop 32© Human Factor Australia
  33. 33. Impacts on workplaces- statistics “In 1999 the CEO of AIM estimated the total direct costs for a company of 100 employees on an average salary of $35,000 to be $175,000 based on costs associated with absenteeism, staff turnover, legal representation, investigation, worker’s compensation premiums”. QLD Workplace Bullying Task Force Report, 2002 Kainai Family Services Workshop 33© Human Factor Australia
  34. 34. Organisation Factors that Support Bullying • Bullying is likely in organisations where: - There is an atmosphere of unhealthy competition - Management believes workers must be harassed to be productive - There is a culture of fear - Individual differences are not valued - A climate of informality encourages a lack of respect Kainai Family Services Workshop 34© Human Factor Australia
  35. 35. • Supervision is problematic: - Supervisors are appointed without the skills to supervise effectively - People are under-worked and under-supervised - People are over-worked and over-supervised - Job mobility is reduced - Morale is low Kainai Family Services Workshop 35© Human Factor Australia
  36. 36. Organization Factors that Support Bullying (cont…) • Power imbalances encourage abuse - There is change to work practices, or restructuring is taking place - Systems, such as performance appraisals can be abused without detection - There are poor lines of communication - There are poor relationships between management and workers - Team work is not encouraged - Employee involvement is not facilitated Kainai Family Services Workshop 36© Human Factor Australia
  37. 37. Effective workplace strategies  Have a no-bullying policy and procedures in place  Communicate consequences for bullying at work to employees  Provide bullying prevention training and information to all employees and subcontractors  Ensure managers and supervisors have essential people management, stress management and communication skills  Take reports of bullying seriously  Investigate reports promptly  Respond to investigations in-line with their planned procedures  Provide couselling, training and support to bullies, victims and onlookers as needed Kainai Family Services Workshop 37© Human Factor Australia
  38. 38. Thank you for yourattention!Esther Hudson403 289-0206Chris Hylton800 449-5866 Kainai Family Services Workshop 38
  39. 39. International Trade Administration Office of Human Resource Management Employee and Labor Relations PresentsPreventing and Dealing with Workplace Violence D. Linder Human Resource Specialist Kainai Family Services Workshop 39
  40. 40. Training Objectives •Policy •Warning Signs Identified •Reporting Processes •Accountability •Communications •Resources Kainai Family Services Workshop
  41. 41. Workplace Violence Prevention – Resource Page Websites••••USDA Handbook on Workplace ViolencePrevention and Response• Kainai Family Services Workshop 41
  42. 42. Kainai Family Services Workshop 42
  43. 43. Workplace ViolenceWorkplace Violence- Any act ofviolence, against persons orproperty, threats, intimidation,harassment, or other inappropriatedisruptive behavior that causesfear for personal safety at theworksite. Kainai Family Services Workshop
  44. 44. Unresolved ConflictKainai Family Services Workshop
  45. 45. Journal of Management 1998 StudyThe 10 most frequent acts of Workplace Aggression • Spreading false rumors • Interrupting a person while he/she is speaking • Acting in a condescending manner • Ridiculing a person’s opinions in front of others • Failing to return calls or respond to memos • Giving the “silent treatment” • Engaging in verbal sexual harassment • Staring, dirty looks • Damning with faint praise Kainai Family Services Workshop 45 • Showing up late for meetings run by the
  46. 46. Bullying / MobbingBullying is the repeated, malicious, verbalmistreatment of a Target by a harassing bully(the instigator), that is driven by the bully’sdesire to control the Target.Mobbing denotes a malicious attempt to force aperson out of the workplace by co-workers.Mobbing denotes a ganging up of people and isa group issue. Mobbing is perpetrated in acontinual fashion, sometimes systematicallyover time. Kainai Family Services Workshop 46
  47. 47. Workplace Violence PreventionAll Federal Agencies should take the necessarysteps to reduce the likelihood and the conditionsthat allow for or encourage violence in theworkplace. The worksite environment shouldremain free of behavior, actions or languagethat causes or contributes to workplaceharassment, violence, the threat of violence orharassment, or bullying by or againstCommerce employees. This behavior isunacceptable and won’t be tolerated. Kainai Family Services Workshop
  48. 48. Policy Considerations Accountability Adversarial Approach vs. Problem Solving Policy and Procedures Reporting Processes Kainai Family Services Workshop
  49. 49. Policy • Departmental Policy & Support • Directives /Notices-Updates •Definitions •Reporting Procedures •Accountability-Customers, Employees and Contractors •Crisis Management Plans •Safety and Security Measures Kainai Family Services Workshop
  50. 50. Policy ImplementationImplementation of Initiatives-Living Program -Program EffectivenessFacilitation, collection and processing of data -Systems approach- trends, focus areasTraining Efforts- Mandatory -New Employee / Supervisory Training Kainai Family Services Workshop
  51. 51. Warning Signs Identified• Intimidation • Verbal Threats• Harassment • Physical Threats• Depression • Bullying• Extreme Behavior • Retaliation Changes • Inflexibility, paranoid, unreasonable• Numerous Conflicts expectations, coworker• Idle Threats fear, weapons or firearm references• Veiled Threats• Statements of Desperation• Substance Abuse Kainai Family Services Workshop
  52. 52. Warning Signs–Potential Indicators• Inflexibility• Paranoid• Unreasonable Expectations• Coworker Fear• Obsessive Behavior (Stalking)• Focus on the Activities of Others• Identification with others who have engagedWorkplace violence• Police Encounters• Contact with Target• Weapons, Firearms References Kainai Family Services Workshop
  53. 53. Reporting ProcessesDocumentation Vital - incidents recorded/trends • Accountability /Employee Actions • Credibility-past incidents • Supervisor Response/Proactive Measurements • Due Process-detailed assignment / safety • Internal Reporting Processes / Measurement • Written Statements • Law Enforcement Kainai Family Services Workshop
  54. 54. Supervisory Accountability • emergency evacuation procedures and have assistance (as necessary) regarding emergency evacuation situations • ensure that administration of and procedures relating to Agency directives/ policy are enforced • provide guidance to employees • take all threats and concerns seriously Kainai Family Services Workshop
  55. 55. Supervisory Accountability •act immediately/ decisive actions •effectively address incidents involving assault, threats, intimidation, or interference •supervisory inquiry /ensure appropriate documentation •ensure resolution efforts/ notify an employee Kainai Family Services Workshop
  56. 56. Supervisory Accountability• maintain emergency points of contact to includeemployee emergency numbers, their assignmentarea Law enforcement Agencies, Physical SecurityOffice, Workplace Violence PreventionCoordinator and Employee Assistance Programs• proactive measurements Supervisors who are aware of workplaceharassment or bullying and fail to take immediate, appropriate, corrective action, or fail to report such behavior, will be subject to disciplinary or adverse action. Kainai Family Services Workshop
  57. 57. Employee Accountability• treat each other with respect & promote a safework environment free of workplace violence• follow procedures relating to Agency Policy/Directives• familiar with emergency evacuationprocedures• NOT engage in hostile acts, which threaten thesafety and well being of customer, contractor orprogram personnel Kainai Family Services Workshop
  58. 58. Employee Accountability• report and document all concerns of workplaceviolence and or incidents immediately to theirImmediate Supervisor and seek assistance• cooperate with their Immediate Supervisorduring a supervisory inquiry with regard to aworkplace violence concerns• maintain an emergency phone numbers Kainai Family Services Workshop
  59. 59. Employee Accountability. Statements of events are voluntary but are encouraged in assuring details of incident properly accounted for. Employees who are aware of workplace harassment or bullying and fail to take immediate, appropriate, corrective action, or fail to report such behavior, will be subject to disciplinary or adverse action. Kainai Family Services Workshop
  60. 60. Communications1. Accountability2. Conflicts addressed3. Due Process4. Dispute Resolution Programs5. Employee Resources6. Policy Posted7. Staff Meetings, Team Problem Solving8. Technical Advice Kainai Family Services Workshop
  61. 61. ResourcesTypes 1. Awareness Training- staff meetings 2. Employee Assistance Program 3. EEO-ADR 4. Hotline Numbers- Points of Contact- emergency /non-emergency 5. Law Enforcement/ Physical Security/OIG 6. Pro-active Approaches vs reactive 7. Technical Advice 8. Technology-email, websites, cell phones Kainai Family Services Workshop
  62. 62. ResourcesPoints of Contact (sample)1. Alternative Dispute Resolution Program OHRM (202) 482-27622. Employee Assistance Program (202) 482-15693. Domestic Violence Hotline Number 1-(800) 799-72334. Suicide Prevention 1-(800) Suicide5. Building Security (202) 482-22226. Department of Commerce, Health Unit (202) 482-40887. Federal Protective Service (202) 690-96328. Federal, State and Local Law Enforcement9. Bulletin Boards Kainai Family Services Workshop
  63. 63. Our offer to youPlease call if you have any HR, or workplace issue that you are overwhelmed withWe can help youWe also are pleased to do Free Workshops for your organization (some limits apply) Let us know what your needs are and we will make it happen! 63 63
  64. 64. CG Hylton - Services HR Consulting  Benefits, Pensions, Job Descriptions EAP Salary Grids  Strategic Planning Wellness at Work  Drug and Alcohol programs Staff Morale  Dept re-orgs Training and  Leadership Workshops compensation Tel 403 264 5288 6464