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© PRIMA-EF Consortium Work Package 5: Interventions and best practice on bullying and third party violence at work Interventions and best practice workshop Helsinki May 20-21, 2008 Finnish Institute of Occupational Health © PRIMA-EF Consortium
Methods and data – Literature review: A literature review was carried out of the risk management approaches in relation to bullying and third party violence at work. – Inventory: An inventory on existing psychosocial risk management approaches and their characteristics was elaborated. – Expert interviews: Complementary information was collected through semi-structured interviews with professionals who have developed, examined or utilized different approaches, and with representatives of organizations where interventions have been carried out, and with representatives of organizations where interventions have been carried out. In all 39 interviews were carried out, 24 experts were interviewed about primary or secondary, six about tertiary and nine about policy level interventions. The interviewees represented 15 countries. © PRIMA-EF Consortium
Workplace violence – Bullying (mobbing, harassment): A situation is called bullying when someone is exposed to negative or hostile behaviours that occur repeatedly and over a period of time. The target of bullying has difficulty in defending hi/herself against these actions. The perpetrators are most often co- workers, supervisors or subordinates. – Third party violence (customer violence): Violence from clients, customers, patients, pupils and the like. © PRIMA-EF Consortium
Data The amount of evaluated intervention programs tackling workplace violence, particularly workplace bullying is very limited. It has been difficult to get control and comparison groups to bullying and violence interventions. Follow- ups with pre- and post- measurements have mostly been used. Experiences and feelings have been asked. The issues picked up to this presentation base on both literature research and expert interviews. © PRIMA-EF Consortium
Violence at work – current situation Third party violence: awareness and recognition of the problem increased Bullying: high on political agenda in many countries (bullying, mobbing, undesired behaviour) State of awareness and recognition of bullying at work differ between countries and organizations – effects on the possibilities to carry out interventions Awareness and recognition of bullying still low in many countries and organizations Preventive work to increase awareness and knowledge about bullying and distribution of information etc. carried out In preventing and reducing bullying psychosocial working conditions, atmosphere in the workplace, organizational culture and leadership style should be addressed Interventions to reduce the risks of bullying in the work environment are still very few – the results have been promising. Initiatives focusing on personality characteristics are unlikely to succeed. © PRIMA-EF Consortium
Findings – tertiary level interventions Very similar method used in connection with bullying and third party violence; treatment of severe consequences e.g. PTSD Rehabilitation is successful; the consequences of violence are so damaging that employees are motivated for rehabilitation Problems are given recognition and handled (should be handled) as work-related problems, not as individual problems Traditional counselling has limitations in dealing with workplace bullying. It helps the target to recover but it is not effective in dealing with the organizational aspects of bullying. © PRIMA-EF Consortium
Special issues Gender issues - in most of the intervention approaches gender has not been taken into account in the design or implementation of the bullying or violence intervention - third party violence – the forms or consequences do not discriminate between gender - should you take and in which way gender,race, ethnicity into account in interventions -concerning bullying at work there are different kinds of gender differences © PRIMA-EF Consortium
Challenges – the way forward Bullying and violence represent an important occupational health concern. All kinds of workplace violence has to be taken seriously Management interventions are essential in prevention of bullying at work There is a huge need of right and research based information in organizations about bullying at work Interventions on bullying and violence need commitment of top management All the people involved in activities must have a sense of ownership There is a considerable need for attitude change - bullying or violence is not acceptable Importance of prevention Importance of risk assessment - development and validation of risk assessment tools to assess the risks of bullying in work environment © PRIMA-EF Consortium
Challenges – the way forward Violence interventions should be tailored to the needs of the organization and the situation Strong professional focus needed Attention should be paid to the real need of employees and organizations as well as to expertise of the trainers. Big need for basic knowledge in the workplace level Need for organizational level interventions is considerable, but the readiness for organizational level interventions on bullying is still low Interventions should be theoretically sound The existing research knowledge on the nature, antecedents and consequences of workplace bullying give a good basis for management of bullying, and for future intervention programs. It is necessary to clarify the terms and definitions used. © PRIMA-EF Consortium
Thank you ! © PRIMA-EF Consortium
Dr Stavroula Leka, I-WHO
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