According to an article in today’s Brisbane Times, one in four Qld public servants witness bullying and sexual harassment whilst 16% have experienced it. This would sound shocking, if it wasn’t so common. According to a federal parliamentary enquiry, workplace bullying costs Australia up to $36Billion a year in lost productivity, litigation, fines and payouts. Bullying harms workers who suffer serious psychological and physical illness.
Sadly the politics of working in the Qld. public service makes life hell for many. It isn’t just those being bullied who suffer, it is also those who witness bullying and harassment. Workplaces become toxic to the health of all workers.
Workers in the Queensland Public Service may be highly trained to do their jobs, however work standards decrease when bullied workers suffer and can’t perform at their best. Mistakes can be made, fingers pointed and people get angry. Frustration, and anger boils over in this environment, and unresolved issues turn into bullying unless there is specific and targeted training.
Naomi Holtring of interMEDIATE Dispute Management says training in Anti-Bullying & Harassment in the Workplace, creates respectful workplaces behaviours and is an investment in safer and more productive workplaces. There will still be unavoidable stresses, but when behaviour becomes respectful, workers are more likely to understand and assist each other, collaborate and look after one another. More productive, safer and healthy workplaces are the result of respectful behaviour training.