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Bullying Complaints Being Taken Seriously Is Key to Financial Workforce Happiness, Research Shows

85% of the UK’s banking/financial services sector say that knowing their employer takes bullying and harassment complaints seriously is an important factor to their overall happiness at work, yet almost one-quarter (24%) have witnessed unacceptable behaviour in their workplace, according to a recent report from Culture Shift.

The tech-for-good developer has released the insights in line with this year’s Anti-Bullying Week, which falls between the 16th-20th November, to encourage companies across the UK to take a preventative approach to tackling problematic behaviour in the workplace.

The same report also uncovered that 30% of employees in financial services think their employer could improve its culture and be more inclusive by providing a platform to speak out about bullying and harassment. Furthermore, 43% feel anxious about seeing somebody they have a negative relationship with when they go back to the workplace, while 48% feel more likely to experience something they would describe as bullying or harassment in the workplace, compared to 39% who feel more likely to bear the brunt of such behaviour while working from home.

“It’s clear that bullying and harassment is prevalent in many workplaces and employers need to do more to tackle the problem,” said Gemma McCall, CEO Culture Shift. “Many employees are calling for their employers to put a platform in place in which individuals can provide anonymous feedback or report any instances of bullying and harassment, and this kind of insight must be acted on by employers if they want to attract and retain talent.

“If incidents of problematic behaviour are left unchecked in a workplace, it can lead to significant cultural issues that will get worse over time. It can lead to people feeling unhappy which in turn can create high rates of absence or presenteeism, low productivity and high turnover of staff.”

On bullying and harassment in the workplace, the research found that:

  • 26% of financial services employees believe their employer could improve its culture and be more inclusive by providing a place to give anonymous feedback
  • 33% are more likely to report an incident now they’re working from home
  • 19% have experienced unacceptable behaviour in their workplace
  • 12% would report an incident to their line manager but would feel worried about the repercussions
  • 13% know somebody else that something serious has happened to in the workplace
  • 13% of employees say they have experienced serious bullying and harassment in the workplace
  • 14% would report an incident, but only if they could do so anonymously

Culture Shift exists to lead positive change in workplace culture, through building products that empower organisations to tackle harassment and bullying. Its proprietary online reporting platform ‘Report + Support’ gives businesses the insight they need to monitor and prevent bullying and harassment, and support anybody who experiences it, either in the office or remotely.

McCall added: “By providing clear and safe reporting pathways, organisations can encourage a speak-up culture. Employers should not only signpost to these platforms but actively encourage employees to use them, with those that do speak out against bullying encouraged and supported for doing so, rather than perpetuating any stigma.

“Taking a proactive and preventative approach to tackling negative and harmful behaviours, will, in turn, help protect company culture and employee wellbeing.”

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