Employers in New Zealand should take more steps to address the growing problem of bullying in the workplace, particularly cyberbullying.
Research shows that those who work in hospitals, schools, and customer-service industries are more prone to cyberbullying. Companies need to understand how it takes place since this type of bullying may not be immediately noticeable.
Workplace bullying among nurses may be the most prominent due to their exposure to difficult patients and co-workers. Their exposure to online harassment, cyberstalking, and other forms of cyberbullying only adds to the problem of ‘face-to-face’ bullying, which may include verbal abuse or deliberately isolating the victim.
However, online bullying could be more damaging due to the anonymous nature of the perpetrator. It can be easy to send abusive online messages to an individual, especially if the person feels that they’ll not be held accountable for it. Therefore, employers should consider treating cyberbullying as a workplace safety concern.
Safety at the Job
Workplace safety doesn’t only involve keeping your employees safe from physical and emotional harm, but also protecting company premises. Some solutions to the latter include deterring intruders by simply requiring employees to wear name badges. In Auckland, Wellington, and other cities, employers also need to resolve low literacy and numeracy skills that affect a million adult workers, according to Josh Williams, CEO of the Industry Training Federation (ITF).
The ITF and four other groups comprising the Business New Zealand, English Language Partners, the New Zealand Council of Trade Unions, and Literacy Aotearoa are raising awareness on this issue through a social campaign. For instance, it advised companies to hire migrant workers with limited English skills yet they have to support their transition in the country with language courses.
It seems New Zealand employers have more workplace safety concerns that need urgent resolutions. The silver lining, however, involves the availability of resources that will help them in resolving each problem.