Teamgage partnership with UniSA tackles workplace bullying

Ben Smit
February 13, 2023

World-first research is at the heart of our new workplace bullying prevention program, launched today by Teamgage in partnership with the University of South Australia.

The new program - Healthy Workplaces by Design  - identifies and mitigates the root causes of bullying, extending beyond top line triggers into psychosocial hazards such as workplace environments, job demands, and processes.

As a risk audit and prevention program it will help businesses meet new work health and safety (WHS) obligations to proactively risk manage psychosocial hazards, especially workplace bullying.

Around 1.1 million Australian workers experience serious workplace bullying, with 39% of mental disorder claims caused by workplace bullying, harassment, or violence.  

Psychological health and safety are foremost on the agenda of Australian WHS policymakers, statutory agencies, and peak bodies, particularly since Safe Work Australia published the Model Code of Practice: Managing psychosocial hazards at work.

UniSA researcher Professor Michelle Tuckey says the UniSA-Teamgage partnership will deliver a risk management process using work design to prevent workplace bullying and other psychosocial hazards.

“Every employer has a legal responsibility to provide a safe workplace, but there’s an increasing pressure for businesses to better manage psychosocial risks, as well as workplace bullying and sexual harassment,” Prof Tuckey says.  

“Workplace bullying already causes $36 billion of lost productivity in each year. And with Safe Work Australia recording a 75% increase in bullying claims over the past ten years, it’s a problem that is not slowing down.

The amended legislation will require businesses to proactively address workplace bullying (including psychosocial risks) with the same rigour as physical health and safety hazards. Which means they’ll need to go above and beyond administrative controls like policies and training.

The UniSA Teamgage partnership will enable businesses to generate a tailored risk audit of their workplace and generate specific recommendations, actions, and evaluations to remedy any concerns. It shifts the emphasis from responding to interpersonal bullying behaviour, to proactively identifying and mitigating the root causes of bullying embedded within work environments.”

Trialled across 85 sites, Healthy Workplaces by Design has proven results, including:

  • 34% reduction in exposure to bullying behaviour
  • 46% reduction in workplace bullying complaints
  • 73% reduction in sexual harassment complaints

Teamgage CEO and Co-Founder, Noelle Smit, says the UniSA Teamgage partnership will ensure people have safer, healthier workplaces, in Australia, and around the world.

“Teamgage is committed to helping organisations deliver strategic outcomes by creating highly effective teams,” Smit says.

“We achieve this by empowering teams to continuously improve how they work together, and a part of this is by ensuring a safe and healthy workplace.

For this to happen, we need organisations to be constantly alive to the risk of workplace harassment, toxic cultures and mistrust between staff and management – all of which can affect performance, customer outcomes, profit and most importantly people's wellbeing.

We’re thrilled to be partnering with the University of South Australia to deliver the new Healthy Workplaces by Design program and look forward to delivering safe, healthy workplaces for all.”

Discover more

To discover more about the program, visit Healthy Workplaces by Design.

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