In the Work Place

Bullies in the workplace? Surely not, thought you had left  that behind at school, think again!   Our workplaces reflect our community.  Bullies in Parliament ,bullies at work.  Work place bullying ranges from that pain in the arse colleague with their put downs, snide remarks and general smart arse behaviour, racist and sexist comments and extreme negativity. Through to coercive demands and even physical violence.  Think I am exaggerating? Sadly no these acts are well documented in the Labour Department website, follow this URL for a bit of light reading. http://www.justice.govt.nz/courts/employment-court/judgments-of-the-court-1.  Type in Bully in the search box and get ready for a few surprises.  Most instances of work place bullying arise when a superior uses their power in an inappropriate manner and the employer allows them to continue to do so.   This is a breach of law but more importantly it is really bad for any organisation.  It saps morale, leads to high staff turnover and seriously impacts on productivity.

I have worked in the employment relationship field and have dealt with cases where bullies were bosses and  also employees were bullies. A very good reason to be a member of a union if you are an employee.  A case I read about cost the victim in excess of $60,000.00 to litigate. Most people I know would have given up, She eventually won but the toll was extremely high.  A lot of workplaces manage the people who complain out of their position and leave the bully intact.  You need to make your own mind up about such a response to clear cases of bullying, but complicity is one word I would use to describe that behaviour.  One extremely important clue that I have found to determine the likelihood of someone being a bully, it is very simple, do they know how to use the word sorry without being told?

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