In Australia, workplace equality laws mean that everyone has the right to be able to work in peace without worrying about discrimination, harassment or any other form of workplace bullying. Unfortunately, though, these problems do still occur.
We regularly get asked about the best ways to deal with harassment in the workplace. Because of this, we’ve put together the following list of our top seven tips for dealing with all forms of workplace bullying and discrimination to ensure your mental and physical health doesn’t suffer unnecessarily.
- Address the Problem Directly
The first thing you should always do if you’re suffering workplace harassment or bullying is to tackle the problem head-on. Start by speaking with the person or people who are perpetrating the bullying. If they still won’t stop, consider taking your concerns to your employer or HR manager.
- Record Any Incidents that Occur
If you don’t manage to stop the harassment by speaking with the people responsible, you should start collecting evidence. Consider keeping a record of exactly what they’ve done, how it affected you and what actions you took to try and stop it.
At the same time, consider speaking with your coworkers to see if they’re willing to back your claims up. If it’s your supervisor harassing you, it’s especially important to work with your coworkers, because the chances are that you’re not the only one who is suffering.
- Report the Problems
This is an extremely important point that’s worth emphasising here. If you don’t report any cases of harassment or workplace bullying, your employer may not know about them. And, it stands to reason that they won’t be able to rectify issues that they don’t know about.
- Find Witnesses
Even if you’re the only one being harassed and bullied at work, the chances are that some of your coworkers are aware of it. Seek witnesses wherever possible who can support your claims.
- Seek Legal Advice
Australian law provides significant protection against harassment and bullying in the workplace. If your employer isn’t willing to deal with problems, you may need to seek legal advice and take further action.
- Seek Mental Health Support
If your mental health is suffering as a result of workplace bullying, you should seek some form of support. Consider sharing your concerns with a close friend or family member. Alternatively, think about seeing a psychologist regularly to ensure you’re maintaining a positive state of mind.
- Don’t Accept It as Your Fault
Unfortunately, a lot of people accept workplace harassment as the norm because they feel like it’s their fault. This is never the case, and there’s absolutely no excuse for just accepting bullying without attempting to fight back.
Unfortunately, workplace bullying and harassment remain a huge problem in Australia. People are bullied for various reasons, including their race, sex, appearance or gender orientation. The seven tips we’ve outlined above will help you overcome any issues, but remember to always seek professional legal and/or medical advice before the problem gets out of hand.