The Daily Post has launched a campaign to take a stand against bullying in our city. Stop The Hate will run over the next few weeks and will look at bullying, bullies and their victims. Workplace bullying has been a hot topic - so today, we continue to look into the issue.
Bullying and harassment may seem similar but they are two separate issues in the workplace and Rotorua businesses are being given help to identify the differences.
Workshops are held in the city to ensure bullying in the workplace is identified, taken seriously and not swept under the carpet.
During the Stop The Hate campaign, a Rotorua woman shared her own workplace bullying experience with The Daily Post. The woman had suffered depression from bullying in her workplace. She was anxious at the thought of having to go to work and coming face-to-face with the person responsible and eventually left.
It seems a lot of people have sympathised with her and felt the story mirrored their own experiences with workplace bullying.
One comment posted on the story online read: "This story is so much like mine, if I didn't know any better I would say it was the same person doing the bullying I encountered! However, that would be a stab in the dark. I feel and felt exactly as you do. I too left my workplace because of it and now wish I had revealed to everyone what this person had done. She is a First Class Bully and will always be."
Another person said: "And I thought I was alone. This article mirrors my story. Bullying is rife in the workplace and it is difficult to get it recognised, let alone dealt with."
Another: "The saddest thing about this story is that its not uncommon. I think it's about time people in management were forced to deal with this problem because it is becoming a HUGE issue in the workplace".
When Equal Employment Opportunities Trust (EEO Trust) general manager Bev Cassidy-Mackenzie read the woman's story she said she was saddened that the workplace bully had kept their job while the victim had left.
She said it was important for businesses in Rotorua and New Zealand not to sweep an allegation of bullying under the carpet.
She encouraged all companies to learn more about dealing with workplace bullying and said the EEO Trust could help with online resources, advice and workshops.
Mrs Cassidy-Mackenzie said they were scheduled to hold a meeting in Rotorua in February but if businesses wanted one to be held sooner, they would be happy to host one this year.
She said they worked with organisations to identify bullying in a workplace and look at solutions. Some of the services EEO Trust offered included the workshops, which looked at bullying and harassment, audits of workplaces, tools to deal with it, advice and more. She said the trust was about preventing bullying and raising awareness about the issue so it didn't become a bigger one.
Mrs Cassidy-Mackenzie said they offered half-day or full-day workshops and employers and employees could be separated to ensure confidentiality.
"It teaches employers how to identify bullying and harassment," Mrs Cassidy-Mackenzie said.
She encouraged Rotorua businesses to learn more about dealing with workplace bullying because sometimes incidents could be due to miscommunication, but at other times were very specific.
If you would like to share a story about bullying, email firstname.lastname@example.org or contact her on (07) 348 6199, ext: 57072.