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Workplaces ‘Fit for People’ & 21st Century Management & Leadership

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A parliamentary inquiry in New South Wales (Australia) into the alleged toxic culture of the NSW Work Cover health & safety regulator was damming. The report by PWC found among other things, a failure of management and leadership:

the leadership team has historically not demonstrated leadership capability and action concerning bullying and harassment”.

The PWC report referred to a worrying observation:

  • 40% of people at the regulator indicated that they had been bullied and/or harassed in the workplace and 52% of those reported the source of the behaviour was a manager or supervisor.

PWC was of the view that a ‘long-term commitment’ and ‘concerted focus’ on organisational culture was required along with a ‘spirit of cooperation’ between agency management, employees and their unions.  I agree with them and collaboration is vital. Values based leadership is a must for 21st Century workplaces to be ‘fit for people’. People can do their best work when they feel safe, engaged and valued.

When I read the PWC report I was saddened, and I asked myself what do organisations need from leaders in the 21st Century to prevent damage to people and reputation. How do we create organisations that are future focused and fit for people to work in ?

I remembered listening to a Gary Hamel presentation where he talked about creating workplaces that are ‘fit for humans. It is worth re-visiting what Gary Hamel had to say.

Gary Hamel - 'Web' AnalogyImagine, what would it be like to work in a place that embraced these 21st Century leadership values?

Amazing!

Sexual Harassment – Research Update

Stuart Training - Close Up 2013

Our Australian research revealed that the younger people are the greater the risk of sexual harassment. Sadly, 37% of people reporting sexual harassment felt that no-one cared and were told to ‘toughen up’ by their manager. Alarmingly 24% of cases reported that organisations either did nothing or made matters worse and 11% of people experiencing sexual harassment felt sad, alone, and contemplated suicide.

Here is one story of the hundreds we received during our work:

Leadership Required
“This takes place nearly every day. It ranges from men trying to put their hands down my top to trying to kiss me and ‘feel me up’. They make inappropriate advances to me and when I take it to my manager he just laughs. Generally there are people around when this happens but it gets worse when no-one is around. On employee came around to my house in the middle of the night, banging on my door and texting me. My manager is someone I thought I could go to but, nothing changes. I have to leave my job.”

And another:
“Whilst one of my female colleagues was bending over, a male colleague came up behind her and simulated sex”

Research Statistics
14% of people complained to their manager;
16% took legal action;
10% resigned;
23% took long term sick leave (more than 30 days);
12% reported bad behaviour toward them was copied by others;
30% of people did not report it;
people under 34 years of age are most at risk;

Industry Sector Statistics – The Top 5
Hospitality = 22% of sexual harassment reports;
Business & Finance = 16%;
Retail = 15%;
Transport = 14%;
Emergency Services = 12%;

State & Territory Statistics
Tasmania – 18%;
Queensland – 14%;
Western Australia – 13%;
New South Wales – 12%;
South Australia – 12%;
Victoria – 11%;
Northern Territory – 11%
Australian Capital Territory 7%