Protecting your people: the importance of adopting a people-centric workplace culture

It seems there’s a report of workplace bullying, harassment or some form of problematic behaviour hitting the news agenda almost on the daily, with toxic cultures rife within many UK organisations. But, who are the people at the centre of these incidents and what’s the true impact on those at the heart of these stories? 

From the impact on mental health, absenteeism and presenteeism, to the effect on employee sentiment, engagement, productivity and on trust in the employers who aren’t taking issues of problematic behaviour within their workplace seriously, we’re shining a light on the true extent of how toxic cultures can have a detrimental effect on employees if not managed correctly. After all, what’s a business without its people? 

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To form this content, we asked 1,000 UK employees to delve into workplace culture within their organisation and whether or not they’ve experienced/witnessed problematic behaviour at work throughout their careers. We also hone in on the impact this had/would have on them comparing how organisations across the banking/finance, healthcare, insurance, legal and public sectors fare. 

In addition, we surveyed 100 respondents who have experienced problematic behaviour, such as bullying or harassment at work and have received a payout as a result, to uncover the true extent experiencing incidents of this nature had on other areas of their lives.  

The research revealed a staggering two in five UK employees have experienced problematic behaviour (such as bullying, harassment or discrimination) at work. Further to this, 29% have taken time off due to an incident that happened at work, while over one third have felt silenced on issues that matter to them in the workplace. 

Not tackling toxic cultures and problematic behaviours within an organisation can have a harmful impact on the people at the heart of those instances and leaders should absolutely have the safety and wellbeing of their employees at the top of their agenda. 

This report looks at the current situation when it comes to bullying and harassment in UK workplaces and the effect it’s having on employees. We share survivor experiences, while shining a light on the sectors these issues are prevalent within, before highlighting some key recommendations for employers to minimise the potential risk on their people should issues of this nature arise. 

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