One in 10 workers experience bullying

New data shows that 10% of Australian employees have experienced verbal abuse or bullying in the workplace.

And that doesn’t include serious incidences of conflict or other negative impacts from work – which another half of workers have experienced at some point in their career.

These are some of the concerning findings from the recent 2016 Snapshot of the Australian Workplace – a national survey of 1001 workers undertaken by global think-tank Reventure Ltd.

“Any abuse is not on, but to see 10% of workers surveyed say they experience this behaviour in the workplace is a real wake up a call,” said lead researcher, Dr Lindsay McMillan.

“Bullying and abuse in the workplace can have a devastating effect on an individual’s mental and physical health and an organisation’s culture. Employers, employer organisations and unions need to work collaboratively to drive down these damning numbers and work towards creating happier and healthier workplaces.”

Dr McMillan also stressed that some types of workplace bullying can be criminal offences.

“If any employee has experienced violence, assault and stalking then they can – and should – report it directly to the police,” he said.

Other damning stats revealed by the Snapshot include:

  • 20% of workers experienced high levels of negativity in the workplace
  • 18% experienced conflict with their boss
  • 14% experienced mental or physical health decline as a direct result of their work.

“Statistics like these are why we started A Future That Works, a campaign to focus business leaders, employers, employees and contractors on how to improve and renew their workplaces,” Dr McMillan said.

“The first step is to identify the problem – the next is to pursue solutions such as workplace bullying prevention plans and proactively promoting respect in the workplace.”

A Future That Works is aimed at undertaking research to highlight the issues such as work-related stress and finding solutions so that workplaces can more actively engage with modern challenges.

Inside Small Business