In the midst of Mental Health Month it’s important that businesses reflect on their workplace culture and how it is contributing to the psychological status and productivity of employees.
According to Heads Up Australia almost half of Australian employees believe their workplace is mentally unhealthy. This is an alarming revelation as psychological health is a core component of the Work Health and Safety Act and Australian businesses are obligated to provide a physically and mentally safe place for employees to work in.
Earlier this year Beyond Blue revealed that almost one in two Australians will experience workplace bullying throughout their lives. In addition to this, victims of workplace bullying are more susceptible to mental illnesses such as depression, anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder.
Workplace bullying often goes unnoticed and unaddressed but it has severe ramifications for the target that has to endure incessant remarks, racial slurs or personal attacks on a regular basis. Understandably, people who experience workplace bullying have poor mental health and as a result are less productive at work.
So as an employer, here’s what you can do to ensure your employees are mentally healthy and performing their best at work.
Australian employees value mental health as equal to or more important than physical health in the workplace.
It is predicted that untreated mental health conditions in the workplace cost Australian businesses approximately $10.9 billion annually. This includes $146 million in compensation claims, $6.1 billion in presenteeism (working while sick) and $4.7 billion in absenteeism.
The health status of employees, both physical and psychological, is critical to running an effective business. A recent report by PricewaterhouseCoopers revealed that Australian businesses will experience a return on investment of $2.30 for every $1 invested in the mental health of their employees.
The investment in a mentally healthy workplace not only displays the value you have for your employees but it also delivers a great financial outcome, too.
Due to different life experiences and emotional thresholds, individuals interpret workplace bullying differently. A common factor that can cause conflict in the workplace is differing varieties of humour. Workplaces bring a range of people together so it’s important that every business sets boundaries surrounding appropriate communication so all employees know what is and isn’t acceptable in the workplace.
Examples Of Workplace Bullying:
According to Bully Zero Australia there is a range of workplace bullying tactics. Common forms of workplace bullying include:
Bullying in the workplace can come in many different forms and the signs of someone suffering may be difficult to pick at times. Common signs to look out for include:
Bullying in the workplace can have a severe impact on the employee, possible consequences include:
Bullying in the workplace does not just affect the person at hand; it can also have huge implications for the business where the bullying is taking place. These may include:
It’s important every workplace has a bullying action plan and that employees are aware of the policies and procedures surrounding workplace bullying. Effective examples of how to manage bullying in the workplace include:
If workplace bullying is not addressed in the early stages it can have huge implications on the victim. Constant exposure to torment, isolation and undue stress can understandably cause great strain on a person’s emotional and psychological wellbeing.
Workplace bullying can be the beginning of the decline of a person’s mental health or the final ‘straw that broke the camel’s back’ so its important employers know the warning signs to look out for. If you think an employee or colleague may be on the brink of a mental health crisis follow our guide on how to assess and respond accordingly.
Workplace bullying is not something that should be overlooked. The happiness and emotional tact of your employees is critical to a flourishing work environment. Investing in your business by investing in your employees can be the greatest business decision employers ever make.