Building awareness to curb bad behaviour*

In 2018, one in five employees reported being bullied, and it’s estimated that bullying costs Australian businesses billions of dollars of lost productivity each year.

Even more unfortunately, a 2016 report into workplace bullying from Safe Work Australia condemned Australian workplaces by ranking it as the sixth highest country for bullying rates in comparison with 34 European countries.

High levels of bullying in the electricity, gas and water supply, health and community services, and government administration and defence industries was uncovered by the report, with the most common forms of bullying including being sworn at or yelled at, being humiliated in front of others, and being physically assaulted or threatened by patients or clients.

Every individual at work is legally and/or duty bound to take all reasonable steps to eliminate bullying, harassment and violence in the workplace. Managers, team leaders and supervisors have a responsibility to ensure that relevant legislation and company policies and procedures are understood to prevent and deter these behaviours from occurring.

To remain compliant, more and more government organisations are investing in building awareness and understanding of individual perceptions around bullying, understanding the need for compliance, and identifying resolution options. Education in this area for human resource professionals, managers, and team leaders is critical to get a better understanding of workplace bullying and harassment.

Part of this article was originally posted on HRM Online ( For more information on bullying and harassment training for your team, visit

*Copy supplied by AHRI