Leaders bully employees to achieve results despite workplace legislation

Experts in navigating workplace violence, bullying and harassment remind employers to comply with Bill 168

TORONTO, June 6, 2011 /CNW/ - Leading experts in workplace violence, bullying and harassment are reminding all employers in Ontario to conduct their first annual workplace risk assessment as outlined by Bill 168. Employers in Ontario with more than five workers are required to assess the potential for workplace violence to comply with the Bill. Despite the legislation that came into effect last June, new research from interviews with organizational leaders across North America suggests that at least half of them are bullies and the overall level of awareness and understanding of what constitutes bullying is low.

"Far too many organizational leaders condone and encourage bullying in an attempt to increase efficiency," says Andrew Faas, principal at Iceberg Navigation. "With the one year anniversary of Bill 168 fast approaching, it is vital that all employers review and assess their workplace violence, bullying and harassment policies and programs. Workplace violence can result in lawsuits and low employee retention and the ability to attract new talent. In many cases it can negatively impact the bottom line."

"Violence in the workplace is a serious issue; in fact, workplace homicide is a leading cause of death of women in the United States," says Dr. Paul Tepperman, Iceberg Navigation principal.  "It is important to identify potential cases early because we know that about 10% of these are high risk, meaning there is a strong likelihood they will commit violent acts in the future," says Dr. Tepperman. By properly identifying and dealing with situations at an early stage, companies can avoid more severe issues in the future and maintain a healthy workplace.

Iceberg Navigation helps organizations lower the risk of violence, bullying and harassment. The company provides a comprehensive approach to ensure both the organization and its people are free to reach their full potential by working with companies to identify and address early signs of workplace violence to avoid more serious situations in the future.

"At Iceberg Navigation, we offer a full range of services and tools to help create, manage and sustain a workplace that is safe and free of violence, bullying and harassment. These services include Bill 168 compliance, organizational risk assessments, e-learning and training and incident investigation," says Barbara Coloroso, best-selling author and advisor at Iceberg Navigation. "We help integrate behavioural solutions into organizational culture."

Faas and Coloroso are currently writing a book about workplace bullying. It will be published in 2012 by Harper Collins. To understand the mindset of organizational leaders on bullying, they interviewed 138 leaders including: 72 CEOs, 26 Executive Directors, and 40 Board Chairs across North America who represent a cross section  of sectors, including private and public, not-for-profit, government, manufacturing, retail, health care, resources, transportation and financial services

According to their research, although most leaders want their organizations to be viewed as employers of choice and rate brand and reputation value as a high priority, few view bullying as a business risk in their organization. In addition, only 52 per cent (74/138) of the leaders interviewed were aware that their organization was subject to workplace violence and/or anti-bullying legislation. Those who were aware felt that their organizations were compliant, but only seven per cent (5/74) could describe what compliant meant.

Bill 168 requires employers to conduct annual workplace risk assessments, and develop and implement workplace violence and harassment policies and training programs for all employees. The anniversary date for Bill 168 is June 15, 2011.

About Iceberg Navigation

Iceberg Navigation helps organizations lower the risk of violence, bullying and harassment. The company offers a full range of services and tools to help create, manage and sustain a safe workplace. Iceberg Navigation's team includes leading experts with extensive experience in workplace harassment and violence including: medical professionals,  senior legal and HR professionals and psychiatric experts who have experience working on over 1,000 prevention and risk management cases. For more information about Iceberg Navigation visit www.iceberg-navigation.com.

SOURCE Iceberg Navigation

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Lauren Joakim

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Iceberg Navigation

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