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Bullying and Harassment a Major Business Worry for Employers

Posted on by Caroline Farren-Hines

In the week that marks Anti-Bullying Week throughout the UK, RehabWorks has launched a Bullying and Harassment workshop, following a popular and successful pilot scheme with one of the UK’s largest central government departments.

We have been delivering interactive and educational sessions on this area for several years, but have recently scaled up our workshop offering in recent months to allow for the growing demand from businesses UK-wide.

Our latest workshop has been rigorously developed with a network of skilled trainers, and pays particular attention to the growing ‘employer fears’ around cyber-bullying in the workplace, as well as more traditionally recognised harassment issues.

Tom Bivins, our Preventative Services Lead, and the practitioner who re-developed the original workshop format, said: “We’ve helped hundreds of employees and managers in recent years who have either encountered bullying in the workplace and want a pathway for resolving the problem, or those who feel they want to prevent a culture of bullying from ever developing.

“What we’ve seen is that in the last 12 months in particular, companies have really started to articulate their fears around this topic, and recognise the financial, legal and moral implications of simply doing nothing.

“The increased demand we’ve seen at RehabWorks led us to explore a new pilot, where we could bring our workshop right up to date for today’s workforce, with a lot of emphasis on proactive role-play, signposting, and detailing the true consequences for an employee’s wellbeing and overall mental health.”

An increase in publicity around mental health impact, and some high-profile legal cases around workplace negligence, may have given rise to more employers considering their strategy around harassment and bullying.

“There are a number of reasons which drive company owners and HR managers to want to develop a better commitment around these areas,” said Tom.

“Certainly, we believe that better mental health campaigning has been one such prompt for today’s firms. What we ensure our courses deliver, is that they grant employers a clear understanding between what is indeed bullying, as opposed to ‘firm management’.

“Making that distinction very often has people saying to us ‘I hadn’t realised how poor my behaviour had been’, or ‘I’m aware that I’ve actually managed that employee in a completely unacceptable or discriminatory way’.”

RehabWorks has delivered its training to companies of broadly differing sizes – from family run firms, to large corporates with international offices. This has enabled managers not only to recognise signs within their workplace, but to implement strategies and solutions which make a significant difference to employee retention and wellbeing.

“The feedback we’ve received from companies – across the board – has been exceptional,” commented Tom.

“Our course participants very quickly identify the positive benefits and are eager to change aspects of their workplace functions in order to ensure a healthier and happier environment for all employees. Ultimately, this not only helps individual wellbeing and retention, but it creates a huge cost saving – because of reduced sickness or re-hire costs – for the company itself.

“It really is a win-win for employers to explore the issue in this way, and we’re pleased to be facilitating such a valuable insight for businesses.”


For more information about RehabWorks’ new Bullying and Harassment Workshop, contact 0333 222 0710.