A dispute management and anti-bullying trainer is urging business owners to be on the lookout for workplace bullying, noting the soaring costs of lost productivity as well as the effects on the health and wellbeing of their employees.
According to a 2012 federal government inquiry into workplace bullying, the total cost of the issue in Australia is estimated to be anywhere between $6 billion and $36 billion.
“The effects of bullying are a national issue and significantly reduce profitability, staff engagement, motivation, performance and turnover, as well as substantially increasing legal and financial risk to employers,” said Naomi Holtring, co-director of interMEDIATE Dispute Management.
“MostbBusinesses don’t know there is a problem until it is too late, or fail to act until it escalates significantly.
“The number of suicides that result from workplace bullying is under-reported. Most do not like to talk about it because of the taboo of the subject. This is no reason to shut your eyes to the truth. It is exactly why we need to bring it out into the open, so we can do something about it.”
The government has a number of resources available aimed at helping business owners respond to incidents of bullying as well as deter it from happening, including Safe Work Australia’s Guide for Preventing and Responding to Workplace Bullying and the Fair Work Commission’s Anti-bullying Guide.