I was attending a networking event recently where another attendee and I struck up a conversation. In talking about what we do, he advised he was manager in a large, well known company. I advised I worked in the world of workplace bullying prevention and management. He piped up that “We don’t have any bullying in our workplace”. I asked the question “How do you know? How does your company measure that?” I was met with a blank stare.

Maybe they don’t have any bullying in their workplace; but maybe, as can be the case with bullying in workplaces, they don’t know.

How do you know if bullying is flying under your radar and how can you build towards a mentally healthy, bullying free workplace?

Measurable outcomes is part of many of our companies’ lives. We measure performance targets or Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). In some industries this is the number of widgets made, in others the number of clients who have signed a contract. We measure the profitability of production and services, making key decisions on that basis. On this we decide the future direction and offerings of our business.

To know if you have a mentally healthy, bullying free workplace, you need to also measure your company’s performance in building a positive culture and managing or preventing bullying.

Let’s explore an example to understand how this works.

The Victorian Public Sector Commission operate the People Matter survey, which is targeted to Victorian public sector organisations. The survey explores how well their organisation, leaders and colleagues practice public sector values and employment principles.

The survey has been in operation since 2014. In 2019, 196 organisations participated with 92215 individual responses. The results are then de-identified, collated and provided back to the participating organisations. They are provided with their own employee responses. From these results, they can develop positive action plans.

One health organisation who have publicly published their data on their website (but I have chosen not to name) helps us understand how this works on an individual level. In 2017, 25% (1368) of employees completed the People Matter survey. In 2018, 54% of employees participated.

Some perceptions have improved, while others have worsened.

For example:

  • In 2014, their employee engagement was reported as 70%, which increased to 72% in 2018.
  • Workplace bullying levels were reported at 19% in 2014, declining to 15% in 2018.
  • Experience of sexual harassment has increased from it’s first year measurement of 12% in 2016 to 13% in 2018.
  • Employee perceptions of whether senior management consider psychological health of employees to be as important as productivity has increased from 41 to 45% between 2017 and 2018.

These are only a few examples.

This is a process that allows your company to measure employee perceptions and whether you have a problem relating to culture, workplace mental health and bullying and harassment. From there, you can identify and implement appropriate strategies to resolve challenges. You can prioritise the areas that require a response, managing your resources more effectively.

It is important to measure this on regular basis. This allows you to know where you are making progress and where your plan needs to be adjusted. You don’t have to assume whether a problem does, or doesn’t exist.

However, what does need to exist before the above can happen, is the willingness to explore whether you have a problem, what that problem is, and a willingness to put in steps to resolve identified challenges.

Is it important to you to know if you have a mentally healthy, bullying free workplace?

If yes, contact us today for a confidential discussion on how we can help you.