How we relate

Odete Daniel, Freelance Researcher:

"Relationships at work play a major part in how one might experience working life.  Employers often focus on making profit; but poor mental health is a prominent factor in costly sickness and absence. I myself have had experiences in the workplace which have affected my mental health; some in a positive manner, others which made me depressed and anxious. I have experienced bullying when working under a manager who used to go through people‚Äôs personal belongings and take them home. I was twenty years old at the time and felt sad that there was no-one monitoring that kind of behaviour, and sometimes I still fear that a new job might mean another negative experience.

Most workplaces have budgets for staff parties and so on, but how much do they spend on monitoring bullying and harassment? It is easy to blame employers, but it is important to recognise that we as employees are also responsible for making our work environment more supportive. We all have darker aspects to our nature, and are capable of making the workplace less supportive, whether we realise it or not. Are we not socially responsible for the type of environment we create?

All I ask of you is to think about how you can make your workplace a more supportive place, or maybe share something that you have done which has helped make your workplace more supportive. I am open to all of you who want to share from the heart and raise some social consciousness. I hope we can make a difference by relating to each other more positively. Each of you can contribute something meaningful.
I look forward to receiving honest, brave sharing from all taking part in reading some of the truths expressed here."

To find out more about Odete, read her blog

Published 13 April 2012 |
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There are 4 comments.

  • Unfortunately many managers offload pressures on to their staff. Bullying and presumed comptetence go hand in hand. Of course this is counter productive if staff hand in their notice because of stress.

    Anonymous 19 April 2012
  • True it is unfortunate but what can the staff and management do about the issue? I see more cases that people just hand in notices but nothing productive gets done.

    Anonymous 01 May 2012
  • I have experienced bullying at work both from peers and managers and can readily identify with you when you say "sometimes I still fear that a new job might mean another negative experience."

    Keith 01 May 2012
  • I have experienced bullying in the workplace and I have tried everything to make it stop, I have defended myself by speaking to my line manager in an assertive manner, I have kept quiet and let her rant at me in the hope that once she gets it out of her system she will leave me to get on with my work, I have tried to befriend her and get involved in conversations with her to try to get her on side but nothing has worked and I have now been diagnoed with anxiety and depression and have been prescribed anti-depressants. When I told her that I had been diagnosed with depression and prescribed antidepressants the bullying got worse. I am currently off work and on the slow road to recovery. Employers need to be more aware of the problems that stress and bullying in the workplace can cause.

    Anonymous 03 May 2012
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