28 October 2016

The costly effects of ignoring a toxic bullying work culture.

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For most employers, it’s a given that creating a healthy workplace environment is a crucial and mandatory step for any organisation that aims to become prosperous.

According to J. Right Sims (Management, 2010. Wellness and Productivity Management. Presentation to the Health and Productivity Management Congress 2010), for companies where employers focussed on creating a healthy workplace culture, it has been observed that employees are:
  • Five times more likely to be engaged
  • Three times more likely to stay in the first year
  • Two and a half times more likely to say that their organisations were creative and innovative
  • Three times more likely to identify their organisation as a high or an above average performer

Recently, a former NSW government worker was awarded $1m in damages after suffering from workplace bullying.

The issue began when she became the subject of intimidation after making an error in an internal job application. According to The Sydney Morning Herald, the interrogation came out of the blue and even continued when the worker doubled over sobbing.

The victim was accused of being engaged in an inappropriate relationship within the office and passed off a co-worker’s idea as her own, leaving the victim in shock and disbelief at where the accusations were coming from.

The worker found her mistreatment so intense that she would sit in the bathroom for 6 hours straight without anyone noticing.

The worker worked at the NSW government agency 5 years ago and has claimed she will never be able to work again.

Her lawyer said her payout was to cover two components: one for total and permanent disablement, which was paid out by her private insurer and the other payout for worker’s compensation for past and future earning capability.

Employers have the obligation of assessing any injury or illness risk that employees may be exposed to. According to Comcare, psychological injury risk assessment should involve:
  • looking for pressures at work (risks) that could cause psychological injury;
  • deciding who might suffer the effects of such risks; and  
  • developing management strategies to control or eliminate the risk

Risks should be reassessed regularly to ensure that prevention is aligned with risks. 

Being brought up in a typical Chinese family in Australia, Vivian takes pride as an ABC (Australia-born Chinese) where she happily embraces both the Chinese and Australian cultures. 

In high school, Vivian wanted to become a fashion designer, however she has developed a passion for running events after working backstage for multiple live shows. Prior to starting at Akolade, Vivian worked 4 years in the wine industry and she misses the wine tasting sessions and openly drinking on the job. As the Assistant Marketing Manager, Vivian enjoys using her creativity to design unique and fun campaigns for each event. In her spare time, Vivian loves to spend time with her two adorable pets; a cat and a dog. 

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