Growing up in small town New Zealand I was exposed to my fair share of bullies. I have vivid memories of getting beaten up (it was nothing more than a roll around on the grass) by Shane Spittle in primary school and being laughed at on my first day of High School for having my name written all over my backpack….. Cheers Mum!
Bullies come in all shapes and sizes. You’ve got the famous Simpsons character Nelson Muntz type of physical Bully, the conniving and sneaky phycological Blair Waldorf type (shout out to my fellow Gossip Girl fans) and in this age of social media we have the keyboard warriors, who are likely too scared to have a face to face confrontation but will mount campaigns of targeted harassment from behind their keyboard.
Unfortunately, as we move through life, bullies rear their ugly heads in various forms. Workplace bullying in Australia is a major problem with one in five Australian workers saying they’ve experienced verbal abuse or bullying in their current job in the last 12 months.
Just last week, Victoria’s most senior firefighter and head of its natural disaster response resigned amid allegations of bullying and inappropriate workplace behaviour. David Wilson, a 61-year-old plant operator working for Wollondilly Shire Council in Sydney’s south-western fringe, took his own life in June 2018 on the same day he was told that his most recent complaint about harassment within the council was unsubstantiated. This poor bloke broke after over a decade of alleged workplace harassment and bullying.
According to the Productivity Commission, bullying in the workplace costs the economy $6 billion to $36 billion a year. Or the individuals involved nearly half (46%) of people say that bullying has an adverse impact on their performance at work, and the same amount believe it has a negative effect on their mental health. More than a quarter (28%) say it has a detrimental effect on them physically, and around one in five (22%) have to take time off work as a result of being bullied. More than one in three (36%) people leave their job as a result of bullying. Staggering numbers and devastating effects on families, individuals and businesses.
Fairwork tells us that everyone has a right not to be bullied or harassed at work. There are national anti-bullying laws and state or territory health and safety bodies that can help people with bullying and harassment in the workplace.
If you think you are being bullied, stand back, take a deep breath, there are people around that will help you. This article from reachout.com will give you some helpful tips on how to handle bullies in the workplace : https://au.reachout.com/articles/3-ways-to-deal-with-workplace-bullying
It’s time we took a stand people!! Who’s with me?!