The idea of behaviour being acceptable or otherwise can, for some, be very subjective and often very personal. Sometimes it even depends on the environment and even ‘the times.’
Induction and hazing rituals once believed to be necessary to develop resilience and teach respect are now viewed as demeaning and in some situations constitute unlawful, criminal assault.
Violence for example, isn’t condoned on the streets yet, in the past it has often been encouraged and applauded on the sporting field. Nowadays thankfully, sports administrators are beginning to take a firm stand and ensure that negative consequences are delivered for such behaviour. This is especially critical as sports fields are often in fact workplaces..
While hazing and violence are quite clearly unacceptable in any workplace (except perhaps the boxing ring) there exists a range of behaviours for which it may seem unclear as to which side of the line they sit. Behaviours that might result in ‘psychological injury,’ such as bullying and harassment, sexual harassment, discrimination in the workplace, or even aggressive language according to legislation and workplace policies fall on the ‘unacceptable’ side of that line.
And while employers may not have total control over the behaviour of staff members, or even customers, they do have a responsibility to provide a safe workplace for all. Legislation decrees this and forces employers to develop and uphold policies that support the creation of a safe workplace including the prohibition of unacceptable behaviour.
I discussed the concept of acceptable workplace behaviours with Martin Reid an industrial relations, safety and employment law specialist with Coulter Roache Lawyers. We talked about the grey areas of workplace safety, how employers can protect themselves and their staff from unacceptable behaviour , and how critical it is for employers to uphold standards of conduct.
Summary notes are provided below the video link. If you would like WPCR to conduct a review of your workplace behaviour policies or deliver training in relation to each individual’s responsibility to contribute to a safe and respectful workplace please contact us for more information.
To view the full transcript of this video click here.
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