• rebecca telfer
    Hi Everyone
    In recent light of an incident, we are looking at presenting a power point on Workplace harassment and bullying.
    My question is: does anyone have a power point presentation on the above subject and has used it in their workplace and is wiling to share with me. thanks heaps
  • Deb Cameron
    Hi Rebecca. Check out the NZ Mental Health Foundation's website. They have a whole raft of free resources to assist organisations to effectively manage workplace bullying. Good luck and well done for addressing this issue.
  • Andrew
    Sorry - no powerpoint here.

    We don't have a "bullying" policy. (I don't have any policies!). What we do have is an expectation that everyone will treat everyone else with "respect".

    Any thing that does not adhere to this principle gets managed and managed firmly - to the point people have lost their job. (Because this encompasses, bullying, bad language, sexual / racial harassment and whatever else that might show dis-repect). Its an extremely simple concept - and a very simple thing to manage.

    We did recently have one situation where a person was at risk of excessive banter. We just drew the group together and reminded them of our expectations around respectful behavior - which was basically, in this case "leave the poor bugger alone".
  • Sarah Fair
    Hi Rebecca,

    I have a PP you can re-brand for your business. Most of the material is off the 'Pink Shirt Day' website from the MH Foundation:
    You can email me directly at:
  • Dr Becs
    Hi Rebecca,

    Safe Work Australia has free, national guidance material on bullying - and also on psychological health and safety, which explicitly refers to bullying and sets out a three stage intervention framework. To be frank, neither are particularly great re: evidence-based interventions or risk mngt, especially at preventing harm level e.g., through candidate mandatory disclosures, clear employment termination clauses in contracts, comprehensive due diligence, and or psychometric profiling to identify ‘Dark Triad’ personalities that will, inherent to their personality, engage in bullying and harassment behaviours, BUT they still might be useful to you as a starting point.

    Out of interest, what are you hoping to achieve by delivering the PP session?

    Providing information on what bullying is, etc to workers is necessary (and good on you for taking action!), but it is insufficient in isolation. Any deliberate perpetrators (the likes of the Dark Triad for example) won’t pay any attention to it, nor will they abide by any Zero Tolerance type policies (I’m with Andrew on this one - respect is crucial, and that’s not something that can be policy and procedured). Having reporting mechanisms is great, but they only work in a culture of voice, so people feel confident and supported to raise issues, preferably when the issue is small and there’s potential for restorative justice to take place (e.g., a sincere apology, acknowledgement of having done harm, learning, and a commitment to not engage in the same behaviour again) - and any disciplinary actions ‘threatened’ must be enforced; else it’s just all just shiny paperwork.

    Is the PP session the start of a wider OSH initiative to prevent bullying? If not, it is likely to backfire I’m afraid. My unsolicited advice is a collegial word of caution - sometimes providing information without other tactics in place as well just gives bullies more fodder to work with. To what extent depends on your org’s specific situation of course, but something to bear in mind perhaps?

    If I can help in any way, or if you’ve got any questions, feel free to comment here or LinkedIn me.

    PS great name by the way :-)

    Kindest regards, Dr Becs
  • E Baxter
    I have some posters I made up for noticeboards if you are interested message me with your email and I will send through
  • Deb Hardwicke
    I'd like to know people's definition of the word 'respect'.
    It's used often and there's a nod of agreement, but I've never heard people explain what it means to them and why it's important. Usually, the closest anyone comes is just another list of words (values, integrity etc) that everyone nods their head to but no-one defines.
    If we should treat everyone with respect then we should equally consider and leave alone the rights of any vegans to hold and share their opinions if they work alongside us. Further, if we respect them as people then we would treat them with the same regard as we do ourselves and not subject them to punitive outcomes if others have issues and the 'bullying' monster has raised its head.
  • Sheri Greenwell
    - that is going to be a complex one to answer. Just as "beauty is in the eye of the beholder", so too is 'respect'. Add to that the very relevant contribution of our own self-image, which is the filter through which we experience everything in life, and yet we struggle to really see and recognise the filter itself.

    US First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt, a woman whose life was characterised by a painful struggle with her own self esteem, was famously quoted as saying, "No one can make you feel inferior without your consent." If a person feels weak or inadequate, no amount of well-intended respect or kindness from outside themselves will have any impact on them, because they are not inherently receptive to it. Instead, they will perceive a slight in every comment.

    Bullying is a complex social and psychological issue that needs to be unravelled, examined closely, understood in much greater depth, and addressed at its root causes, which is more along the lines of stopping the institutionalised comparisons with others and trying to shape everyone into some kind of homogenised standard for the masses. People who have been able to discover who they really are and what is right for them eventually leave the entire bullying debate far behind them, because they know who they are and who they are not, and they recognise that others need to be who they really are as well, and that we each have our own unique and valuable contribution to make just by being who we really are.

    Simple, but not easy!!
  • Deb Hardwicke
    Sheri Greenwell, thank you. It's given me something to consider
  • Andrew
    Respect isn't about definition. Nor is it about equality or about equity.

    Within our business we keep things very simple and say that every single person offers our business something and for that reason alone is why we will treat them with respect. A person has earned the right to work for us, therefore they have earned the right to be respected. (You dont get respect just because you are a person). So we dont tolerate language or behavior that is disrespectful of anyone.

    Our test, or simplest way of explaining it is "would you say / do that to your mother". It works for 95% of people.

    (As an aside good on you for hiring a vegan - but they don't have a right to express their weirdo views at work. But no problem with them doing so out of work. We ought not be busy-boddying in peoples private lives)
  • Deb Hardwicke
    Cheers Andrew
    I've been a vegan for over 20 years, and just wanted to display the attitude to us in public view. General ignorance and intolerance of vegans and our 'weirdo' beliefs (around who should be considered members of the moral community) tends to result in a lot of workplace bullying. No one cares much
  • Deb Hardwicke
    PS Andrew, do remember that there are prescribed rights for employees under the Human Rights Act. I'm fairly confident that they over-ride any workplace norms, such as having to 'earn' respect or running an insult past your mother-filter to see how offensive it is. Some of these rights relate to freedom of opinion, and freedom from discrimination. The HRC is very helpful if you contact them, and willing to provide free resources and guidance to get you up to speed.
    Apologies if this comes across as rude or patronising. My mother's dead so I wasn't able to check first.
  • Andrew
    The Human Rights Act is a limiting piece of legislation - that is, If I want to discriminate against vegans (as an example) I am quite legally entitled to. Unless its a disability such as mental illness. I can even discriminate against a Vegan Muslim - provided I dont mention the religion bit. So there is a distinction between legal discrimination (or discrimination thats isn't illegal) and bullying.

    There is also the NZ Bill of Rights which gives people the ability to express pretty much any view - which brings problems when handling bullying at work. Those rights can be limited when in work time.

    Which is why "respect" is a useful, simple and powerful tool.
  • Deb Hardwicke
    Hi Andrew

    There is a difference between direct discrimination which is illegal against anyone, and indirect discrimination which is not illegal but sits in the grey area of dubious behaviours. I learned this during an hour-long phone call with an advisor from HRC, a few years ago. I won't go into further detail because it's really up to you whether you're sufficiently interested to learn as well.

    Leaving that to one side, I send a heartfelt prayer to the universe that all vegans and other unpopular minorities (probably not vegan muslims, but that's another obvious learning opportunity for you) find out where your workplace is and give it a wide berth.

    Finally, you may wish to reply to this final posting from me but I will just delete your email if it appears in my inbox. Don't let that stop you though, knock yourself out

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