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Still In The Age Of Dinosaurs and Bullying?

The modern workplace is rapidly changing, yet some businesses are still in the age of dinosaurs and bullying with no plans to embrace change. 

I once I worked in the HR for an oil and gas project site in the Northern Territory. Part of my job was to promote healthy, collaborative workplaces where individual talents and differences were respected. Also, where management was attuned to the physical and mental well-being of their employees.

 With this in mind, I ran an organizational culture campaign with the theme, “The Dinosaur Days are Gone.”

It stressed that the modern workplace and society’s expectations were rapidly changing. Moreover, that old-school mentalities and behaviours were outdated, unproductive and had no place in a 21st century work environment.

The campaign was well received. Also, the message–delivered in a fun, engaging and educational manner–resonated with the target audience.

Since running that campaign and being involved with several businesses and industries in anti-bullying education, I’ve noticed three recurring themes:

  • Some companies are still reluctant to bring mental health and anti-bullying programs into their workplaces. As one company director told me, “It’ll just open a can of worms—it’s easier to brush it under the carpet and ignore it.”
  • Companies that value their employees have better staff retention, improved productivity. They also have reduced absenteeism and presenteeism because they proactively embrace education and early intervention.
  • Male-dominated industries still have a lot of work to do to make employees feel safe and comfortable in speaking up about mental health issues. They must also do more to break down ancient patterns of harmful behavior, including “apprentice initiations.”

The dinosaur days are truly gone. Technology is changing our work landscape. Millennials are flipping long-term, one-job-for-life career ambition on its head. Further, toxic companies are being outed on social media.

Millennials and the era of “follow your dreams”

I once had a meeting with a CEO and an interesting conversation about Millennials. It sparked an interest to look at how millennials deal and approach toxic workplace cultures consistent with bullying and harassment.

still in the age of dinosaurs and bullying

Millennials are less likely to stay at workplaces that serve them no job satisfaction and are less attracted to monetary rewards. Speaking from their perspective, this was a truth for me. Earning a 6-figure salary and being truly unhappy was indeed not appealing to me.

Millennials are also risk takers. They are seen as mostly ambitious to break free from the traditional conformity and start own ventures and businesses.

If Millennials feel valued and respected, this can benefit the company with free PR advertising through social media. In fact, my news feed is continuously full of corporate team building days, company charity events and reward and recognition achievements.

Alone, Millennials can be great publicity for your business and often work on word-of-mouth for workplace culture feedback. They are not afraid to express their dissatisfaction on social media channels if a company’s workplace culture is toxic. After all, they were raised in an era where creative expression in this form is widely encouraged.

Millennials are also wildly confident and strive largely for progression. They are not afraid to jump ship if a company becomes stagnant with little opportunity for training, development, and growth.

Thinking back to my last workplace, the staff turnover and retention were extremely poor. Also, the admin team was very much built of a woman support group which through a 3-year period was consistently changing. Moreover, based on conversations during and after departure, it was mainly due to the atmosphere and culture of the company.  

Loyalty is a trait that seems to evaporate over time from an employee and employer level. No longer are companies in the position to hold staff for a 30-40 year timeline with large business portions being sold. In fact, even government employees are facing large redundancies.

Millennials are the next thought leaders and businesses that fail to embrace positive cultural change risk becoming extinct—like the dinosaurs.

Bullyology® is passionate about raising awareness on the effects of bullying and helping people break the silence. If you would like to book us for a training course or speaking event, please get in touch.

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