Last year, Acas said it had received about 20,000 calls about harassment and bullying at work and that some callers to its helpline had even considered committing suicide.

The chair of Acas, Sir Brendan Barber, commented:
“Callers to our helpline have experienced some horrific incidents around bullying that have included humiliation, ostracism, verbal and physical abuse,” he said.
“But managers sometimes dismiss accusations around bullying as simply personality or management-style clashes, whilst others may recognise the problem but lack the confidence or skills to deal with it.” You can find the link to the full story here http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-34833261
Most people have had the experience of being treated less favourably at one point or another and the business case for treating people at work with dignity is growing stronger as the research builds.

The benefits of taking dignity at work seriously include higher morale, which of course impacts productivity and performance, reduced levels of absence and reduced staff turnover. We also know that when staff satisfaction is high and retention rates are good, customer service improves, so the benefits of dignity at work run the whole length of the service-profit chain.

The opposite is equally true in that workplace bullying and harassment adversely affect staff morale usually results in absenteeism,stress-related illnesses and higher turnover of staff. Bullying and harassment can also impair the health, confidence, morale and performance of victims and those who witness it.

If you don’t have a dignity at work policy, you can get advice from the Health and Safety Executive here http://www.hse.gov.uk/stress/furtheradvice/bullying.htm or the from the Equality Challenge Unit her http://www.ecu.ac.uk/publications/dignity-at-work-guide-for-he/ .

We can also support you with Dignity at Work training – find out more here https://www.ceruleanblu.co.uk/dignity-at-work-brochure/


12 Comments

Alice Elliott · March 2, 2016 at 10:20 am

Dignity at work really matters. I remember one particular boss who liked to undermine me, probably because she knew I knew more about her subject than she did. It was her way of asserting her ‘authority’ over me. I put up with it for 21 months before she took away everything that made my job meaningful. It would have been good to know about these resources during that time.

    Lesley · March 2, 2016 at 10:50 am

    Thanks for your comment, Alice – unfortunately this is a classic pattern of bullying and the bully will usually target a competent person and look to reduce their effectiveness over time – mentally, emotionally and professionally because they feel threatened or inferior. By the time the bullied person gets to us, there has often been a comprehensive dismantling of that person and it takes a while to build them back up, but people do recover. I am so sorry you had that experience and I hope that things are better now. We will continue our work to help organisations eliminate bullying in their workplaces.

Alice Elliott · March 2, 2016 at 10:20 am

Dignity at work really matters. I remember one particular boss who liked to undermine me, probably because she knew I knew more about her subject than she did. It was her way of asserting her ‘authority’ over me. I put up with it for 21 months before she took away everything that made my job meaningful. It would have been good to know about these resources during that time.

    Lesley · March 2, 2016 at 10:50 am

    Thanks for your comment, Alice – unfortunately this is a classic pattern of bullying and the bully will usually target a competent person and look to reduce their effectiveness over time – mentally, emotionally and professionally because they feel threatened or inferior. By the time the bullied person gets to us, there has often been a comprehensive dismantling of that person and it takes a while to build them back up, but people do recover. I am so sorry you had that experience and I hope that things are better now. We will continue our work to help organisations eliminate bullying in their workplaces.

Nicky Kentisbeer · March 2, 2016 at 1:20 pm

Dignity at work is a right isn’t it and therefore a formalised policy is long overdue. This is a very interesting read. As Alice has already commented, such situations can and do happen and as you say, are classic patterns where, generally the only choice is to leave.

    Lesley · March 2, 2016 at 2:07 pm

    Agreed Nicky – but it doesn’t make it OK, which is why we talk about this every chance we get!

Nicky Kentisbeer · March 2, 2016 at 1:20 pm

Dignity at work is a right isn’t it and therefore a formalised policy is long overdue. This is a very interesting read. As Alice has already commented, such situations can and do happen and as you say, are classic patterns where, generally the only choice is to leave.

    Lesley · March 2, 2016 at 2:07 pm

    Agreed Nicky – but it doesn’t make it OK, which is why we talk about this every chance we get!

Valerie · March 3, 2016 at 3:49 pm

Thank you for doing this work. I needed help quite a few years ago when I was sacked. I was told I could have my job back if I slept with the bar manager. I left. Saw a solicitor but unfortunately I was told I hadn’t worked there long enough to put in a complaint.

    Lesley · March 4, 2016 at 9:37 am

    Thanks for taking the time to comment, Valerie

Valerie · March 3, 2016 at 3:49 pm

Thank you for doing this work. I needed help quite a few years ago when I was sacked. I was told I could have my job back if I slept with the bar manager. I left. Saw a solicitor but unfortunately I was told I hadn’t worked there long enough to put in a complaint.

    Lesley · March 4, 2016 at 9:37 am

    Thanks for taking the time to comment, Valerie

Comments are closed.