About Know Bull! - Know Bull! Australia :: Workplace anti-bullying website

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When the Know Bull! website went 'live' 10 years in 2007...we were a little 'ahead of our time'. Back then, there was the occasional media story about workplace bullying and a few good, international anti-bullying websites...but not much more.  Looking back, it seems there was actually a 'disinterest' in workplace-related bullying - especially within the media.  Know Bull! saw it differently and considered bullying as a serious workplace health and safety issue not  only affecting staff...but also  undermining the profits of companies and organisations. It wasn't long before our Inbox indicated that workplace bullying was indeed  set to become one of those 'issues' that wasn't going away in a hurry. 

I
n response to communication from our website visitors, we began collating and publishing facts and information, conducting polls and research...and monitoring trends. 

To increase awareness about the devastating impact of workplace bullying on 'targets' and the financial toll borne by organisations...in 2008 we established a national workplace anti-bullying day, that takes place annually on 3rd June. But we were still ahead of our time, and the launch of this day was met by the media with overwhelming...silence.  Never-the-less, as of 2017 Know Bull! Day enters its 9th year. 
 
In June 2010 we introduced Workplace B
ullying Awareness Month - to provide organisations and individuals with some flexibility in implementing their Know Bull! Day, 'safe and respectful' workplace anti-bullying events.

From early on, Know Bull! recognised that while workplace bullying and school bullying shared some
common ground, they had entirely different origins.  In other words - opposite ends of the same stick.  While school bullying is directed at children who are perceived as being different or an 'easy target', workplace bullying is directed at those perceived as admired, experienced, and very competent. 

We continued to dig into bullying behaviours, worked with organisations and unions on a global scale to improve workplace cultures, provided organisations with materials to do the same, and conducted presentations in workplaces.

By early 2009, we'd gathered a sizeable amount of
information from individuals and organisations who'd taken the time to communicate with us.  And after noticing the beginnings of two distinct trends we sought further information via an online survey.

The Extent & Effects of Workplace Bullying Survey Report
(collated late 2009 and published 2010), confirmed i) "strong support for the introduction of a ‘new’ statutory course of action encompassing the notion of 'the deliberate and/or intentional infliction of a hostile work environment', under which organisations, and workplace bullies could be prosecuted", and ii) a strong correlation between workplace bullying and suicide.  At the time we wrote:


The most sobering finding of the Know Bull! Extent and Effects of Workplace Bullying Survey revealed that 1 in 5 (16.6%) of respondents said that they had “known of, or worked with a staff member who, after being targeted by a workplace bully, later committed suicide”. This statistic on its own indicates that despite OH&S legislation – many ‘unsafe’ workplaces exist, and that perhaps OH&S legislation doesn’t have sufficient ‘teeth’ to curb the existence of workplace bullying, and that workplace bullying (and its effects) should in fact have its own ‘criminal category’.



We began to herald 'looming' changes regarding workplace legislation - to organisations - and incorporated this into Know Bull! presentations.  And while there were no 'outward' signs of change on the horizon (and still ahead of our time)...we implored organisations not to wait until the 11th hour...and to begin working on improving workplace cultures for the sake of their employees, productivity, bottom line, and ultimately...to avoid legal sanctions.

Then in June 2011, and motivated by community groundswell after a court case
that penalised workplace bullies who tragically drove a 19-yr-old Victorian teenager to commit suicide - the State Parliament of Victoria passed the Crimes Amendment (Bullying) Bill. Things began moving quickly.

By May 2012 Australia's then Prime Minister, Julia Gillard, announced a national review into workplace bullying. The Parliamentary committee report that followed, Workplace Bullying: We just want it to stop
, was tabled October 2012. By March 2013 the Australian Federal Government proposed an amendment (The Fair Work Amendment Bill 2013) to the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth). The new 'Bully Laws' came into effect nationally, from 1st January 2014. The changes Know Bull! heralded in 2010, have now become a reality.

Within the first few months of
2014 there's been an explosion of information about workplace bullying. These days you can't pick up a paper or magazine; watch a current affairs or morning news show; or even read an online news site without coming across something to do with bullying...or how some organisation, psychologist, group, law firm, or 'guru' can help people deal with it. Previously relegated to the 'we're not interested pile', now it seems that workplace bullying...is the new 'little black dress'. 

The increase in awareness about workplace bullying is a good thing, but hopefully all this white noise doesn't dilute the message that to create 'safe and respectful workplaces' - action needs to be taken.
There's still far too many hard working and competent employees 'paying the price' for organisations that choose  to keep the workplace bullies. All too often 'targets' are expected to solve a problem they didn't create, nor invite...a problem that can rarely be solved without  addressing the culture of an organisation.

Know Bull! still stands by our message that Workplace Bullies are far too expensive to keep!
And every day - workers, their families, and workplaces - are bearing the health-related and financial costs of keeping the workplace bully. It's not easy for a 'target' to break the silence about the workplace bullying they're enduring, and speaking directly to a workplace bully is not only ill advised, but fraught with the possibility of increased bully retaliation. This is 'why' the Know Bull! website came into being.

As a way assist bully 'targets' to cope with bullying in their workplaces, we began with Anti-Bullying (by design)
, which provides 'targets' (or those interested in preventing workplace bullying) with a low-effort way to raise bullying and anti-bullying awareness via anti-bullying products in our online store.  We then added a Resources and Information section, which includes tips & hints, articles, research and other items offering information about workplace bullying, while our Corporate Services includes various tools to raise awareness in the workplace; keynote speech, seminar and workshop services; and the design and implementation of anti-bullying workplace policy, strategies, and remedies. You'll also find a school kids' zone, and workplace bullying facts and stats.

Finally, there's also a page containing 'quick' web polls
- where we seek the opinions of their web visitors, and which assists in the ongoing development of the Know Bull! website. 

 
 
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