A dramatic increase in the number of workplace bullying incidents has been blamed on the pressures and tension arising from the global downturn.
According to high performance coach and strategic workplace management expert, Tony Wilson, Australian workers are suffering more than ever before, with increased levels of stress, frustration, anxiety and anger. He said that the stress of the recession has impacted how workers manage their emotions.
"It seems that many Australian workers are suffering a general decline in wellbeing and a dramatic increase in stress - leading to an increase in frustration, anxiety, anger, and of course, bullying," said Wilson.
The Australian Human Rights Commission estimates the cost of workplace bullying to the economy is between $6 - $36 billion a year. Wilson said that bullying essentially leads to decreased productivity, high staff turnover and an erosion of trust.
"Bullying - among other things - can cause an individual to suffer severe anxiety, stress, fear, lack of concentration and depression, with the overall workplace suffering irrevocable consequences as a result," he said.
"A culture that tolerates bullying will invariablyerode trust and loyalty throughout the workplace. A lack of trust ultimatelyprevents people from pursuing a common goal for the organisation, which isusually one of the most important motivators for staff."