The significant cost of bullying and harassment at work in terms of morale, performance and sheer human misery has been well documented. Taking into account the absenteeism, turnover and productivity costs of bullying and harassment, the total cost for organisations in the UK has been estimated at approximately £13.75 billion a year.
These costs arise because most employees lack either the confidence or the knowledge about how to respond. They either adopt the ‘flight’ response of leaving the business
physically or psychologically, or they ‘fight’ via formal processes. Sometimes, taking out a formal grievance is the right and only action.
There are options which are significantly less costly in terms of the human costs, as well as less costly to the business. Making employees aware that there are different ways these behaviours can be addressed will reduce the amount of fight and flight responses, and increase the use informal processes.
Early intervention at corporate and individual level is pivotal in preventing conflicts escalating to formal processes and ET claims. Resolving issues at an early stage stops them from developing into more serious cases in which HR and/or the Department’s Trade Unions become involved.
This paper outlines the value of a harassment advisor service and helps you get ready to set up your internal service or consider the option of outsourcing that service.