Safe and Healthy Workplaces (addressing workplace bullying)

Safe and Healthy Workplaces (addressing workplace  bullying)

What problem does it solve? The social & economic health of the State of New Jersey is dependent upon the health & well-being of the State’s greatest asset - its employees!! Currently, there are no protections for those subjected to workplace bullying (WB). The impact of WB can be catastrophic to targeted employee(s), their co-workers, & organizational culture. WB hinders productivity and, over time, incurs substantial financial costs not only to the state, but to the citizens of NJ. What is your solution and who does it apply to? WB behaviors are typically behaviors/ actions that are deliberate, repeated, severe & pervasive & which result in risk to the health and/or safety of the targeted employee(s). As WB continues to go unaddressed, the direct consequences to the State will continue to grow, including the direct costs of litigation, increased workers compensation & medical claims, sharp declines in employee & organizational morale, fear & anxiety throughout the organization, and surges in absenteeism. By instituting policies that prohibit WB & hold perpetrators accountable for their behaviors, NJ’s workforce will become more engaged, innovative and empowered to produce high quality services/ programs for the citizens of the Garden State. Research shows that such protections result in decreased costs of litigation, decreased workers compensation claims & decreased medical claims which is a direct cost-savings for the State. WB policies would apply to all NJ state employees. What is the anticipated impact? In the US, research shows that over 65 million workers are affected by bullying (abuse) & at least 7 out of 10 American adults have experienced or witnessed bullying in their workplace. Unfortunately, prevalence data in NJ is not available because workplace bullying remains a taboo and silent epidemic. According to the “State Government 2016 Workforce Profile,” there are approximately 68,173 state employees. Implementation of policies would protect all employees who are subjected to severe and pervasive WB. When employees feel safe and, therefore, healthier in their work spaces, this increases morale & productivity; it enhances quality of government services and programs; it decreases turnover; decreases litigation costs; and decreases costs for workers compensation and medical claims. Overall, a healthy workforce is better equipped to enhance government services and make NJ more effective for its residents!

Points

I completely agree with this idea. According to the Anxiety and Depression Association, “72 percent of employees who have daily stress and anxiety say it interferes with their lives at least moderately. 40 percent experience persistent stress or excessive anxiety in their daily lives”. How can employees give their 100 percent of work if they are constantly under stress causing anger, sadness, depression, and frustration?

As a survivor of repeated workplace bullying, I absolutely support this measure. I actually wrote an anti-bullying policy for the workplace some years ago but it was sadly never implemented.

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