It’s gonna take money, a whole lot of spending money

The People & Culture Office

Just incase I drew you in with my clever use of a George Harrison lyric, you can read the first 2 blog posts in this series here & here. This week we are going to look at Compensation & Benefits * queue a chorus of groans from all the bean counters out there *

According to a recent Employment Hero report 63% of employees say that remuneration is one of the top 3 considerations when selecting a new role. But it is not the make-or-break factor it once was, when it comes attraction and retention of employees additional benefits such as flexible work arrangements, training & development, salary sacrifice, reward programs & perks such as free snacks (🐷) go a long way to singling your business out as an employer of choice.

How an organisation pays and rewards its people has a big impact on its ability to attract the best talent, ensure that they are challenged and motivated and whether or not they will stay with your organisation. One of the first steps in making this happen is to develop a remuneration strategy.  The objective of a remuneration strategy is to support the overall organisation strategy, the HR strategy and the desired organisational culture. 

A successful compensation & benefits strategy will ensure that you are able to recruit the right people, with the right mix of skills, to ensure that your organisation can meet its business outcomes. To be effective, the strategy needs to consider the internal relativities between roles; the organisational needs & values and the external market.

Without an experienced HR professional in place to create a strategy SME’s can struggle with not only putting together a total compensation package, but, benchmarking a base salary that is competitive in the current market. The most fundamental stage in the overall management of remuneration is to ascertain what is an appropriate rate or amount to pay employees, and to ensure that this process is fair and objective whilst taking into account factors such as the industrial instrument, market availability of the relevant skill set, fairness & objectivity and whether the organisation links pay to performance.

The organisation’s structure, the market in which it operates, the culture, its position in the organisation’s life cycle and taxation to mention a few areas all impact on the strategy for the organisation. For example; a charity is unlikely to have a strategy with a high base salary, instead offering a base salary in the 25th – 50th percentile range in-conjunction with FBT free salary sacrifice arrangements or other benefits it can offer for free or at very low cost for the organisation.

Organisations also need to consider where they want to position themselves in the salary market – does your organisation want to be highly competitive? or rather, does your organisation want to be in the medium range of the market, but able to offer other non-monetary benefits such as working from home or flexible start / finish times? Where you position yourself can depend on both internal and external factors. For example:

  • capacity to pay high salaries
  • demand for, and scarcity of, skills now and in the future
  • competitors; and
  •  other pressures e.g. turnover, difficulty in attracting talent etc.

On that note, organisations are only as successful as their approach to hiring the right people, setting clear expectations, managing performance and recognising and rewarding employees for a job well done. If you would like a compensation & benefits strategy to tailored to your specific business needs contact Simone today.

Like what you see? Click around and discover how partnering with us can give your business a competitive advantage by aligning strategy with people & culture, or, give us a like on Facebook for regular updates on industry trends, blog posts & photo’s of me having coffee at my regular haunts and / or my dog & cat disrupting my work day 😂

HR Strategies & Planning | The People & Culture Office


Stop ghosting your candidates – the vlog

HR Consultant | The People & Culture Office

I love recruitment, out of all the HR functions it’s my favourite, I tell people it’s because it’s mostly a positive experience, you know, up until you have to tell someone they were unsuccessful for a job.
A lot of companies and recruiters deal with this by just not getting back to candidates, whether by the old “only shortlisted candidates will be contacted” or just obvious ghosting, but what damage are they doing to their brand in doing so?
Want to learn more after watching the vlog? Read Stop Ghosting Your Candidates here.

Like what you see? Click around and discover how partnering with us can give your business a competitive advantage by aligning strategy with people & culture, or, give us a like on Facebook for regular updates on industry trends, blog posts & photo’s of me having coffee at my regular haunts and / or my dog & cat disrupting my work day 😂


People | Process | Power

Workforce Planning | The People & Culture Office

Last week I wrote this post to give you an overview of strategic HR management and how each element adds value to your business, today we are going to take a closer look at one of those elements; Workforce Planning.

Put simply, workforce planning is “having the right people in the right place at the right time” The key principles to workforce planning are;

  • identifying future business directions and workforce needs
  • analysing and understanding the make-up of the current workforce
  • determining the necessary skills, capabilities and competencies required to achieve strategic and operational goals in the future
  • developing policies and strategies that will assist in achieving these goals

Workforce Planning provides management with a framework for making informed staffing decisions which are in line with the organisation’s strategic and operational goals. This is opposed to reactionary or “knee-jerk” staffing decisions that may seem right at the time, but eventually turn out to be ineffective in supporting the strategic directions of the organisation.

The planning process also provides a mechanism for integrating a range of human resource strategies that can assist with the attraction and retention of staff in a systematic, equitable and strategic way.

Sounds great Simone but how does this work within my business? Let’s say you are a mining contractor and you have just been awarded two separate contracts to develop and mine mid-sized open pit projects to commence in 4 – 6 months time. As part of the planning process HR would sit down with the operations manager and map out the project; what positions would be required & when needed throughout the project, what will the roster be, what will the manning of the crews look like and the duration of each contract. Armed with this information HR would go off and start to pull together workforce plan to ensure the organisations ability to meet the workforce need is approached in a systematic, proactive and cost effective way.

This may include looking at the current workforce skill set & capability to determine opportunities for promotion into Superintendent / Shift Supervisor positions, the number of new recruits required, remuneration structure, risks to attraction & retention of employees, whether there is a requirement for the creation of, or review of, HR policies & procedures and then the development of a recruitment schedule giving sufficient time for the recruitment process to occur, successful candidates to leave exisiting jobs and then mobilise to site. Systematic, Proactive and Cost Effective.

So obviously, and as with all business planning when approached with a measured and considered approach, workforce planning has numerous advantages – the ability to identify more effective and efficient use of people at work; enabling effective planning in relation to the “demographics” of the workforce to ensure business continuity; enabling proactive management as opposed to just-in-time management or management by crises; the development of a range of alternative courses of action to meet changing market environments; understanding issues associated with retention and turnover so increases or reductions in staff are managed appropriately and cost effectively with minimal impact on the workforce, individuals and to the business are just a few.

But say you’re a bit of a fly – by – the – seat – of – your – pants person? What are the risks associated with not having a planning mechanism in place? It would result in management resorting to make staffing decisions in an ad-hoc or reactionary way that does not support the longer-term goals of the organisation. This type of decision-making may lead to – a workforce that is inflexible and does not have the necessary capabilities to deliver future services necessary for an organisation to achieve its goals; an inability to attract and retain high quality staff, due to irrelevant or inconsistent human resource policies and practices; operational goals that are inconsistent with the organisation’s wider vision and strategic focus; staff development resources being funnelled to activities which do not support the strategic goals of the institution; under-utilisation of staff; increased staffing costs; a lack of leadership and succession planning and poor management decision-making. Eeeek!

“Planning is bringing the future into the present so that you can do something about it now.” ― Alan Lakein, author

The People & Culture Office can assist you to create overall capability and ensure that your organisation has the skilled, committed, engaged employees it requires to achieve sustained competitive advantage. We will analyse your strategic plan and goals to identify opportunities to develop people and culture initiatives that will integrate with, and support the overarching business strategy. 

Like what you see? Click around and discover how partnering with us can give your business a competitive advantage by aligning strategy with people & culture, or, give us a like on Facebook for regular updates on industry trends, blog posts & photo’s of me having coffee at my regular haunts and / or my dog & cat disrupting my work day 🤣

Sounds like a plan, Stan

HR Meeting | The People & Culture Office Kalgoorlie

Business owners, who woke up one morning, decided to start a business, and plowed on ahead with no plan, no idea of where they were headed & no structure for finances, products, clients or employees? Anyone……. Anyone…… As I thought, no-one, because who would be so blasé about their investment and reputation. Yet, going forward how many of you have employee centric plans in place? Such as, have you thought about skill requirements to ensure successful future growth? Have you thought about the documentation of your mission & values so you can ensure your employees, current and future, share them? Have you got a strategic or business plan in place and do you have employee related policies and performance management mechanisms in place to ensure they are met?

If you don’t know where you are headed, how can you expect your employees to join you for the ride?

When an organisation has made its business decisions in relation to its strategic goals, it has to determine how to make that vision a reality & to carry out its mission by executing each strategy. Each and every strategy that a business pursues will have specific HR needs and implications, an experienced HR professional will work with management to ensure there is a plan for the human resources needed to deliver on its strategic goals. This is known as strategic HR management.

There are a number of variables to be considered when managing business outcomes, these can include;

  • Organisational Structure
  • Job Design
  • Recruitment & Selection Processes
  • Recognition & Reward Programs
  • Training & Career Development
  • Performance Management Strategies
  • Employee Relations Strategies
  • Succession Planning

Organisations need to ensure that they have the skills, knowledge, abilities, motivation and commitment in its employees to achieve a sustainable competitive advantage over its competitors. Underpinning this is the contribution HR can make, from the identification of opportunities and constraints of the existing workforce through to the development of policies and practices to develop the core capabilities of the workforce, and to ensure this produces the behaviours, values and attitudes that will result in desired organisational performance.

The primary goal of strategic HR management is to implement strategic change.

The People & Culture Office can assist you to create overall capability and ensure that your organisation has the skilled, committed, engaged employees it requires to achieve sustained competitive advantage.

We will analyse your strategic plan and goals to identify opportunities to develop people and culture initiatives that will integrate with, and support the overarching business strategy. 

Like what you see? Click around and discover how partnering with us can give your business a competitive advantage by aligning strategy with people & culture, or, give us a like on Facebook for regular updates on industry trends, blog posts & photo’s of me having coffee at my regular haunts and / or my dog & cat disrupting my work day 😂

Invest in HR| The People & Culture Office
Business success through people


Constructive dismissal; what is it and have you been guilty of it?

Employee Working Contract| HR Consultant | The People & Culture Office

“It would be a good idea for you to leave before we have fire you” “Times are tough and everyone needs to take a pay cut of $20,000 per year” “Tamara keeps complaining that Karen is bullying her, I mean that’s just Karen, we all know that, Tamara should just leave if she can’t handle it” “We need to change your work days & hours, I know you’ve said before you can’t work these days because you can’t get childcare but we need to make the change regardless”

Constructive dismissal, or forced resignation, is when an employee has no choice but to resign because of the conduct of the employer. The employer may expressly ask the employee to resign, or the employer’s conduct may leave the employee feeling that he or she has no other choice but to leave their employment.

This conduct generally involves an employer engaging in a serious breach of the employment contract or indicating that it no longer wishes to perform its side of the employment contract. This can include taking actions to make unauthorised variations to the employment contract such as extreme pay-cuts, demoting the employee, dramatically changing their working hours or relocating the employee. It is irrelevant that the employer’s insistence on the employee’s resignation was based on good intentions, for example to save the employee from embarrassment, or, to make it easier for him or her to find future employment; or whether the employer intended or anticipated that the employee would quit their job.

It is not always evident that an employee has resigned involuntarily. It is therefore essential for you, as an employer, to review the events leading up to an employee’s resignation. For example, if an employee resigns in the ‘heat of the moment’, they may argue that they felt they had no other option but to resign. Where a resignation is given in the heat of the moment or under extreme pressure, special circumstances may arise. An employer may be required to allow a reasonable period of time to pass and / or the employer may have a duty to confirm the intention to resign if, during that time, they were advised that the resignation was not intended.

Whether a principal contributing factor in the termination of the employment relationship was an act, or failure to act, on the part of the employer always depends on the individual circumstances of the case. Some examples of constructive dismissal can include:

  • where an employee resigns because he or she is told to resign or he or she will be sacked;
  • where an employee is subjected to ongoing sexual harassment or discrimination;
  • where an employee is subjected to systematic humiliation, verbal abuse or put-downs and adequate proof of this treatment is available;
  • where there is a serious and ongoing failure to provide a safe and healthy workplace, the employee has notified the employer of the problem and there is no improvement;
  • where an employer actively campaigns to force an employee out of work by acting in such a way as to make it impossible for the employee to continue to do his or her job and adequate proof of this treatment is available; and
  • where an employee has been demoted and the demotion involves a significant reduction of the remuneration or duties of the employee.

A clear example of constructive dismissal is found in the case of Hobbes v Achilleus Taxation Pty Ltd ATF (the Achilleus Taxation Trust). Here, an employee resigned after he was paid under half of what he was owed over a period of 4 months. It was decided that it was clearly a situation of forced resignation due to the conduct of the employer, and therefore instead amounted to a dismissal by the employer.

A situation where constructive dismissal was found not to exist was in the case of Bruce v Fingal Glen Pty Ltd (in liq). This concerned an employee who resigned after the employer repeatedly paid wages late, and failed to make any superannuation contributions. The payment of wages were usually 1 to 2 days late, but on occasion were paid even later. The Commission found that while the employer’s conduct was improper, the employee was not in a situation where they were left with no other option that to resign. Therefore, the employee could not argue constructive dismissal.

A leading Australian case on constructive dismissal is that of Mohazab v Dick Smith Electronics. Mohazab was an employee of Dick Smith Electronics. During questioning about the disappearance of stock in the store the employee was told that he was to either resign or face a police investigation. A letter of resignation was prepared by the employer and given to Mohazab to sign. After this occurred, Mohazab brought an unlawful termination claim, and Dick Smith argued that Mohazab had voluntarily resigned because of his concerns regarding the police. The court decided that the decision to resign or face police investigation amounted to termination at the initiative of the employer. This was because Mohazab had no effective or real choice but to resign, and it was only because of his employer’s action that termination had occurred.

In a case published by the Australian Government’s Comcare agency, an employee developed a psychiatric condition following persistent bullying as a result of her being promoted to a management position in a restructuring move by her employer. The worker did not receive any management training prior to her appointment as team leader, and there was widespread bitterness in the team about the removal of the previous team leader. Several team members reportedly engaged in increasingly hostile behaviour towards the new team leader, including spreading rumours, disobeying requests, making offensive comments, being rude, and failing to help to the team leader when she was very busy and clearly required assistance. The team members then convened a meeting (too which the bullied employee was not invited), where a document listing complaints about the new team leader was drafted and given to the team leader’s manager. The manager accepted the document, and refused to intervene in any meaningful way when requested to do so by the bullied employee. The bullied employee sought assistance from other managers, who did not intervene, until finally she was forced to leave her position due to the development of a psychiatric condition. The bullied employee took legal action, where a judge found that the employer was negligent in its duties to create a safe working environment. It was found that the managers involved had the capacity to take action that would have prevented the damage caused to the bullied employee, but failed to do so.

The bullied worker received compensation of $339,722 at the expense of her employer as a result of psychological injury acquired in the workplace. This case demonstrates the clear need for employers to be responsive to bullying complaints so that these sorts of cases do not occur. Bullying is an issue that gets worse the longer it is left unaddressed.

All constructive dismissal cases make it clear that employers need to carefully consider their actions and their legal obligations when they decide they wish to be rid of an employee. There is rarely a low-risk shortcut that can substitute proper redundancy discussions or performance management.





Employment Contracts – what to put in and what to leave out

Employee Working Contract| HR Consultant | The People & Culture Office

The importance of having effective, well-drafted, and compliant employment contracts in place cannot be understated. If you don’t scrutinise your contracts to make sure they’re legally correct, or if you have not given much thought to this important business document, you may be very disappointed about the degree to which you can protect your commercial interests or defend your position in the case of a workplace dispute.

An employment contract is an agreement between an employer and an employee that sets out the rights and obligations of each party.  As with any contract, the law requires certain conditions to be met before it will recognise an employment contract.  Employment relationships can take on several different forms and each form will create certain rights and obligations on the parties involved. The terms of employment contracts will also vary depending on the nature of the relationship between the parties and what rights and responsibilities are sought to be created.

Let’s start off with things that shouldn’t be included in an employment contract – basically anything policy related, and, anything you may want to the flexibility to alter in the future as your operational needs change. For example the inclusion of access to a motor vehicle in the employment contract makes it a contractual inclusion to which both parties are now bound too. If the job role no longer requires access to the vehicle, or if vehicle usage & allocation needs to be reviewed for financial reasons, negotiation with the employee is required and there would be very few employees who would be happy to give a contractual benefit up without being compensated in some other way. Similarly, commitment to training or recognition & reward programmes, these are best left to policies where the contents can be modified, or made obsolete as operational needs and budgetary requirements dictate.

The inclusion of policies is risky. Incorporating policies within a contract should be avoided as it may give rise to mutually enforceable duties and potentially create a breach if the employer fails to abide by its own policies. Instead, policies should be separate and acknowledged under the employment contract as a clause containing reference to the organisational policies and the employees’ obligations.

Let’s look at a hypothetical employment contract where the employer has stated the content of their Drug & Alcohol Policy within the terms and conditions of the employment contract. The policy states that it is a 3 strikes and you’re out policy, but, the employer has just obtained a major contract which a large percent of existing employees will be mobilised to. The client has a zero tolerance policy and the employer now faces a disconnect with their contractual obligations to it’s employees, and their constraints of having sufficient ongoing work for their employees should they test positive whilst on their main clients site. Well written policies will always contain a clause that if at anytime the legislative, policy or business operational requirements is so altered that the policy is no longer appropriate in its current form, the policy shall be reviewed immediately and amended accordingly, on the other hand renegotiating contracts with employees, particularly to conditions that the employee considers unfavourable, is messy and unpleasant.

So what should an employment contract contain?;

  • The position they are being appointed to, it goes without saying that this should be consistent with the position they applied for, unless consultation and discussion has taken place.
  • Employment status ie: Full Time, Part Time, Fixed Term or Casual. If the position is being offered on a fixed term basis for the duration of a prescribed project or coverage on a long term absence such as Parental Leave, the factor to determine the termination of the term must be explicit ie: when the project ceases or by XX date. ** Failure to monitor cessation terms on Fixed Term Contracts can result in a permanent and ongoing employment relationship with said employee, for this reason you should always ensure you have stringent processes in place.
  • The position they will report to (not the person currently holding that position).
  • Remuneration expressed either as a salary or hourly rate.
  • Hours of duty
  • Date of commencement
  • Location of workplace
  • Is the offer of employment is subject to any conditions? ie: Police Clearance
  • The industrial instrument they are being paid under ie: the applicable Award or Collective Agreement

The Terms and Conditions of Employment should contain information that relates to the probationary period, notice periods to terminate employment, how and the frequency of pays, superannuation, leave entitlements, the requirement to comply with the organisations policies & procedures, confidentiality, restraint of trade, other employment  a dispute resolution process – PHEW!

So the key take away’s are; 

  • An employment contract is a legally binding document, that when put together with little legal or strategic consideration can have significant detrimental impact to business.
  • By understanding the reasons for certain clauses in employment contracts, employers can help ensure that their employment contracts accurately reflect the terms and conditions of the employment relationship and sufficiently protect their interests.
  • Employment contracts should be reviewed and amended whenever there are material changes to an employee’s role, particularly when an employee is moved into a new position.
  • If in doubt as to the effectiveness of a clause, or how a particular clause works, an employer should obtain proper advice, and should certainly do so before making amendments.




Roll on 2019

The People & Culture Office 2019

Who’s in holiday mode already? 🙋🏻‍♀️ We don’t tend to make a fuss over Christmas in terms of gifts and over consumption (except for when it comes to my Mum’s cheesecake) but I always look forward to actually having a legitimate excuse for nanna naps, eating leftover BBQ for 3 days & moving from the lounge to the pool & back again.

Anyway I’m sending a big peace out to 2018 ✌🏻 and I hope to see you all in 2019, remember one of the best ways to start the new year off is to consolidate your strategic goals, review your values and whether they are reflecting in your workplace culture, and most importantly, engage The People & Culture Office as your strategic partner to assist with HR solutions to implement cultural change and strengthen your workplace relations framework.

Work is hectic – getting help doesn’t have to be

I can still be contacted via email for appointments in the new year & urgent matters.



The rise & rise of the office mean girl

Office Mean Girl | The People & Culture Office

To quote a line from an absolute movie masterpiece, “Hands up if you’ve ever been personally victimised by Regina George”. I’m sure we’ve all been personally victimised by our fair share of office mean girls in our time, in the past few years on social media I’ve noticed a significant increase in people talking about being bullied at work and if you type “office mean girl” into Google you get 946,000,000 results. In fact workplace bullying has got so out of hand in Australia that in 2013 Fair Work amended the Fair Work Act to be able to intervene in instances of bullying in Australian workplaces, the reality is though, many victims choose to leave the workplace which quite often ensures no action is taken against the bully or the workplace and so the cycle continues.

So let’s have a look at the classic signs of an office mean girl.

She struggles with envy

Bullies bully because they covet what you have & they need to destroy that aspect of you to make themselves feel better. Whether it’s your job, your salary, your abilities, your clothes, your car or all of the above the little green monster makes for a bitter little person. They are willing to go to any extreme to hurt the person that has what they want. For instance, an office mean girl might boycott another employee’s ideas, projects or social gatherings. She will even take steps to destroy her target’s reputation and work-related projects. And she is unable to acknowledge anything good about other people due to her struggle with envy.

She excludes others

Ostracising other women at work is a sure sign of an office mean girl. These women use relational aggression to socially isolate someone while attempting to increase their own status at work. Typically, they are driven by a number of factors including everything from jealousy and a need for attention, to a fear of competition. As a result, they will leave other women out of lunch dates, meetings and after-work gatherings. They may even discuss the details in front of those who are being isolated to demonstrate their power.

She lies, gossips & spreads rumours

Office mean girls are often obsessed with what other people think of them. They consider how everything looks to others. As a result, these bullies target others that threaten their status in some way. For instance, if they believe another woman is threatening their status or position at the office, they have no qualms about attacking her relationally in order to eliminate the perceived threat. These actions can include making up lies and spreading rumors about her work ethic, her office relationships and even her personal life.

She’s a serial bully

These bullies are toxic women who are systematic, controlled and calculated in their approach. On the outside, this office mean girl appears charming and charismatic, but on the inside they are cold and calculating. As a result, they tend to inflict emotional pain on their victims over long periods of time. They also are skilled manipulators. They appear sweet, outgoing and likeable, but this is just another way to manipulate situations to their liking. Girls like these twist facts and situations to make themselves look innocent or to avoid being reprimanded – the counter claim of bullying is a classic example of this type of behaviour.

She struggles with anger management issues

Sometimes office mean girls have poor impulse control. They are quick-tempered, tend to yell a lot and may even use profanity. These women also are prone to using direct insults and direct name-calling. They also may dominate meetings by arguing, criticising, using sarcasm and spewing insults. And they are not above rolling their eyes and coughing to undermine what other people are saying.

She is power hungry

These women want to be the ones in control and calling the shots. But instead of earning that right through respect and teamwork, they often speak disrespectfully to others, insist on having things their way and put other people and their opinions down. What’s more, they use the power and control they already have to their advantage. Sometimes, these women are bosses who are bullies. Other times, they have strong personalities, excellent verbal skills or a lot of influence and they use these things to walk over the needs of other people.

When I knew I wanted to write this post I put the call out on social media for people to share their stories, I knew I’d hear stories of people who’d put up with unacceptable behaviour for months hoping it would get better and I knew I’d hear stories where the organisation did nothing to address the issue, what I wasn’t expecting was for 100% of respondents to tell me they manager did nothing to help them.

I want to share my experiences with office means girls, not to throw shade, but because the psychological effects were pretty extreme and shows what can happen when people are enabled by organisations to behave badly without consequence.

My experience wasn’t just with one mean girl, it was with a posse of mean girls and started on my very first day and lasted for 2 years until I left the organisation. As a senior member of staff and the only subject matter expert in the organisation I was completely unprepared for how I was to be treated. It started with constantly questioning my advice or decisions, even though the employees in question had no relevant experience in HR, over time it progressed to continued gossip, attacks on my character, exclusion from social activities within the office, withholding of information relating to my job, leaving me out of meetings related to me, undermining me until the negative sentiment towards me had spread to a number of employees. And worse, I wasn’t the only employee this group targeted, I once walked in on them having a morning tea they’d organised to discuss a new starter and how she wasn’t really fitting in. It had never occurred to them that they weren’t a very likeable or welcoming bunch, anyone that commenced with the organisation was perceived as a threat to their status and was treated poorly.

Ultimately it got to the point where the affect on my health was too great and I had to leave. I worked with my GP to get healthy again because the anxiety caused by the actions of the women I worked with was overwhelming, in the first month or so I couldn’t leave the house without suffering severe anxiety, I would frequently cry in public because simple tasks weighed too heavily. My son hosted his first Christmas in his brand new house and I spent the day like a zombie, 2 weeks after my departure from the organisation my nephew passed away and the level of anxiety meant we were unable to travel for his funeral. I will never forgive them for what they did to me, what was just a game to them had far reaching implications for me & my family.

The stories sent into me on social media echo my experiences, women who were targeted for being good at their jobs that tried everything for months on end to have management recognise there was an issue to no avail. Every single respondent told of being quite severely impacted, in fact one story involving *Sasha took place over 20 years ago and involved a colleague constantly critiquing Sasha’s appearance, despite the amount of time passed, Sasha still feels self conscience about her appearance and feels as though she is being silently judged. *Janine told me about being singled out by a supervisor over a 9 month period “because she didn’t fit in” despite this particular person having previous form with this type of behaviour management turned a blind eye.

The implications for management as a result of not adequately addressing these issues are far reaching, first and foremost it’s a breach of Workers Compensation legislation, if the victim has voluntarily left after repeated attempts to have management address the bullying they may choose to lodge an unfair dismissal claim on the grounds on constructive dismissal, there is the damage to reputation as a result of constant turnover and the inability to retain quality employees.

People bully because they can get away with it, when you’re a manager or a bystander you have an obligation to speak up and call perpetrators out on their behaviour, businesses can ensure they have clear, concise policies in place to assist with proceeding with disciplinary action. Each of us can control our own behaviour and take ownership of our choices and allegiances. Even if we’re not managers, we can all do small things to support colleagues at work. So the next time you’re in a situation where you see another colleague talked over, not given their due credit, or critiqued unfairly, don’t just sit out on the sidelines. Your voice matters, so don’t underestimate your own power to make the office a better place.

Based in Kalgoorlie, The People & Culture Office is an independent HR Consultant who can partner with you to offer a one stop HR solution, we only charge you for the work we perform; no contracts, no annual or monthly fees, just quality service. Click here to learn more