Every business owner/manager has a responsibility to provide a safe workplace – and that safety extends to the psychological climate of the work environment. Bullying, intimidation and harassment is harmful to employee health, ethically irresponsible and often illegal – yet it continues to happen because there isn’t enough awareness of how to address the problem or a ‘hope-it-goes-away-by-itself’ approach by management.
What does it mean to provide a psychologically safe workplace? It means establishing positive and supportive leadership. It means giving your managers and staff the skills, strategies and information they need to prevent bullying and to understand its causes and effects and efficiently deal with incidents when they occur. It means being aware of the extremely negative effects that a toxic work environment can have on staff well-being – and how much time and money it costs the business.
Emotional turmoil, uncertainty and fear lead to reduced productivity, more absenteeism and more presenteeism (where your employees are physically present but far less functional because of workplace stresses).
Having a solid safety record with machinery or a low employee accident rate is great – but how many of your people are taking stress leave, filing worker’s compensation claims for ‘psychological injury’ or can’t stand being around their immediate supervisor? How many are coming to you with complaints about negative behaviours?
For information on effective anti-bullying courses for business leaders, managers and employees, please contact Jessica at email@example.com.
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