The importance of identifying, reporting and taking action against workplace bullies
Most of our lives are taken up by work, the daily grind that allows us to finance the four coffees we need to make it through the day. So, it’s important that while we spend so much time in this one place, we should be happy. While ‘happiness’ is subjective with a plethora of dependent factors, job satisfaction is somewhat easier to define and achieve.
Job satisfaction is a combination of a number of workplace aspects. Usually engagement with the work itself plays a role, as does the working conditions, like how many breaks you get and what facilities the office provides. One of the biggest factors relevant to job satisfaction is having a positive relationship with your co-workers or superiors.
A negative relationship, which is two sided can affect your happiness, and could also affect your performance at work, but workplace harassment will take a toll not only on your work but the state of your mental health. And it is not okay.
The best way to identify and address workplace harassment is to be informed, more often than not it’s emotional abuse, which can be harder to realise or explain.
Any behaviour that makes you feel lesser can be harassment, whether that individual means to or not. If they are ignorant to their rudeness, often standing up for yourself and explaining your discomfort can ease the situation. The issues begin when the other party is maliciously attempting to bully or discriminate.
Your boss has a legal responsibility under the Occupational Health and Safety and anti-discrimination law to provide you with a workplace in which you feel safe.
Colleagues too, have a responsibility, a moral responsibility to create a positive working ambiance or assist you in reporting incidents.
Check the bullying policy at your work, and document the abuse, with accurate dates, and any measures you have taken to stop or avoid the situation. This can help when filing a complaint.
You can visit the Human rights Commission to learn about furthering your complaint, if your manager isn’t able to help the situation, or a union that you are connected to via your employer.
Every state in Australia has a Work Safe or Fair Work sector in their government, where you can submit a formal complaint.
But, before you make a formal complaint, ensure you’ve taken every other measure to stop the behaviour. The threat of a formal complaint could drive your boss to take action.
You need to be valued in the workplace, and any form of harassment is not okay. You are not the only person going through this.
If you are experiencing workplace harassment, please click HERE to learn about your options with Work Safe Victoria.