Anti-workplace bullying trust launched by New Zealand group

by Oct 16, 2015

A group of professionals in Hamilton, New Zealand actively combat workplace bullying by establishing an anti-workplace bullying trust and launching an online website to support individuals experiencing bullying at work. 

The organization, “Bully Busters,” is eager to provide low-level advocacy and resources to victims of workplace bullies, an idea initiated by Community Waikato’s Chief Executive Holly Snape and Culture Safe Director Allan Halse. They believe that creating an anti-workplace bullying organization offering free support is timely, given the increasing number of bullying incidents. This initiative is a valuable resource for employees who may feel discouraged and alone in a negative and abusive working environment.

This initiative is a valuable resource for employees who may feel discouraged and alone in a negative and abusive working environment. Bully Busters plans to add a forum to the website, providing bully victims with the chance to discuss their situations and receive necessary support. Snape stated that one of the issues when dealing with workplace bullying is getting over the isolation that people would feel and typically go through given their negative experience. 

“We think giving people that opportunity [to speak out] is quite empowering and to know they aren’t alone in this,” she said.

This point is essential as it allows many bully victims to seek help, address the problem, or find a way to heal from the experience with the support of others.

The Bully Buster’s online support website is expected to go live in mid-November.

Strategies in Dealing with Anti-Workplace Bullying

1. Establishing Clear Anti-Workplace Bullying Policies

A clear anti-bullying policy is very essential to foster a better understanding of acceptable and unacceptable behavior. Providing a set of examples and outlining consequences among employees helps prevent misunderstandings and promotes a workplace culture of respect.

2. Implementing Anonymous Reporting Systems

Workplace bullying often arises when individuals lack the confidence to share their complaints about workplace issues. The implementation of anonymous reporting systems informs employees that they are valued, creating a sense of security for those fearing retaliation. This approach facilitates open communication and eliminates barriers to reporting workplace bullying.

3. Conducting Regular Training Programs 

Conducting regular training sessions for employees and managers enhances awareness of workplace bullying. Empowering bystanders to step in and report incidents not only fosters a culture of respect and empathy but also contributes to maintaining a safe and secure working environment.

4. Ensuring Thorough Investigation Processes

Thorough investigation processes ensure that reported incidents can be promptly addressed, aligning with the organization’s anti-bullying policies and relevant laws. Transparency in these processes helps employees build trust within the organization and emphasizes that unacceptable behavior will not be tolerated.

5. Providing Support

Employees often fear retaliation when speaking the truth, as they are concerned about not receiving the necessary support from management. Providing support to affected employees helps in their recovery from the bullying experience. This support is very important in helping individuals experiencing stress that affects their mental health feel valued and contributes to promoting a healthy work environment.

The Bully Buster’s online support website is expected to go live in mid-November.

To learn more about the group’s advocacy and their plans for the future, click here and read the full article at New Zealand Herald.

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About Catherine Mattice

Catherine Mattice, MA, SPHR, SHRM-SCP is President of consulting and training firm, Civility Partners, and has been successfully providing programs in workplace bullying and building positive workplaces since 2007. Her clients include Fortune 500’s, the military, several universities and hospitals, government agencies, small businesses and nonprofits. She has published in a variety of trade magazines and has appeared several times on NPR, FOX, NBC, and ABC as an expert, as well as in USA Today, Inc Magazine, Huffington Post, Entrepreneur Magazine, and more. Catherine is Past-President of the Association for Talent Development (ATD), San Diego Chapter and teaches at National University. In his book foreword, Ken Blanchard called her book, BACK OFF! Your Kick-Ass Guide to Ending Bullying at Work, “the most comprehensive and valuable handbook on the topic.” She recently released a second book entitled, SEEKING CIVILITY: How Leaders, Managers and HR Can Create a Workplace Free of Bullying.

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