We all have a moral responsibility to keep watch of the people surrounding us and all of the injustices that happen on a daily basis. It can be said that it is our “moral obligation” to help out. Undesirable people exist, but we can always keep our distance from them. But, what happens if these undesirables exist in the workplace. How can we implement and be advocates of anti-bullying? We have to see them every day, deal with them every day, what do we do? How do we deal with workplace discomfort, especially if it is in the form of bullying? How do we deal with workplace bullying or abuse in Australia?
The definition of “bullying” may be a bit broad and can occur in varied environments, it all leads to the same damaging effects that encompass a person’s emotional, physical, and mental state. There are also different forms and types of bullying. The effects of bullying are astounding. The mental stress is damaging to the person who receives such ill-treatment.
Forms of Bullying
- Inflicting physical harm on a person is a form of bullying. Examples of this are pushing, shoving, or tripping another person by intent. It comes in various forms like tripping someone while they walk. It could also be pinching someone, pushing, or even causing damage to property.
- Another form is verbal bullying. It can start off harmless and escalates slowly. Being called outside of one’s name, throwing insulting remarks at someone is an example. Speaking words to cause intimidation, racist remarks, all this classified as verbal bullying.
- Social Bullying sometimes called, “covert bullying.” and is harder to spot. Through gossiping or spreading rumours, social bullying can also be achieved. It targets a person’s reputation. Its intent is to cause humiliation.
- Cyber Bullying intends to inflict harm, distress, and humiliation through the use of the internet. Cyberbullying is committed by posting defamatory statements against someone through the world wide web.
How we handle unwelcoming people who wish to inflict harm upon us through bullying is key to finding a peaceful way to co-exist. However, the most advisable way to directly deal with health and safety risks is awareness.
Workplace Bullying in Australia
Though unfortunate, bullying does not just happen in school or on the playground. Bullying can also happen in workplaces in Australia. Nothing really changes, all types of bullying still occur in the workplace, such as verbal, physical, social and even cyberbullying. Workplace bullying or abuse can happen to anyone. It can happen to regular employees, casual employees, volunteers, apprentices and even in the supervisory and managerial level. In some cases, workplace bullying/abuse may even be classified as a criminal offence due to anti-bullying policies.
Workplace Bully Alert
We have to realise that not all practices in a workplace fall under the classification of bullying. Take for example an employer transferring a worker from one department to another, demotion of a worker due to lack of performance, disciplinary action because of an unbecoming act and retrenchment with just cause.
However, let us also ask ourselves, “what does workplace bullying in Australia look like?” and “How to deal with workplace bullying in Australia?” Well, here are a few things that we can all watch out for:
- Physically attacking someone is a form of bullying when done repetitively.
- Verbal remarks that intend to inflict stress or distress upon someone is a form of bullying.
- When someone makes fun of someone’s work, clothing, or educational background.
- Making racial or discriminatory comments.
- Frequently raising the racial background of a person is a form of bullying.
- When someone cat-calls, whistles, give unwelcome touches or show any form of sexual harassment, this, too, can be a form of workplace bullying.
- Constantly changing your schedule, working hours and days off, without prior notice, maybe a form of workplace bullying.
- Unannounced change of working hours, schedules, shifts, that are difficult for a worker is a form of bullying.
- When a co-worker deliberately holds back information which prevents you from getting your work done, is a form of workplace bullying.
Responding to Workplace Bullying
Speaking up about bullying is the first step in addressing suppression and oppression. Workplace bullying Australia policies or Anti-bullying policies do help but only to a certain extent. Taking the necessary steps towards the prevention of workplace bullying is extremely important. The most important thing is to instil zero-tolerance for any and all institutions. It is important to carry out effective anti-bullying programmes in workplaces in Australia that would prevent psychological problems.
If you or someone you know may be suffering from workplace bullying/abuse in Australia, it is quite important that we do what is morally correct and that is to report the incident. It would be understandable that we may feel that it is not our place to meddle, but don’t we need to do what is right? Some who do not wish to have their identity revealed do report workplace bullying through an anonymous call or letter. This can be an option.
Mental health care support
If you happen to be the one on the receiving end of workplace bullying in Australia and you need to find a way to deal with workplace bullying but are too scared to act on it, you may find comfort in talking to professionals? Mental health care support is very important during very stressful times. Telehealth mental health care service is available for those who need it. It is the best option for those who do not wish to walk into hospitals or clinics because the service is available through phone or video conference calls. Some may not know it, but telehealth psychiatry service is a valid way to get help with scripts or medication as needed. For those who do not wish to take medication and deal with the stress head-on, telehealth psychology or counselling is also an option.
Workplace bullying is no exception. Inflicting physical, emotional and mental pain on another is inhuman. Bullying must stop. During this year’s anti-bullying week, let’s take a united stance against workplace bullying in Australia.