Bullying, harassment and sexual harassment is, regrettably, still a feature in most work places.

Each person has a story to tell of the time when they were made feel “less than” by a  colleague or manager. For some it may be a once off incident. For others, it is a repeated or daily occurrence to the extent that they become unwell, their physical and mental health suffers, and work performance becomes a problem.


Through our EAP service, people have presented with their own experiences of bullying, harassment or sexual harassment. While support at an individual level is vital, organisations can oftentimes struggle to find ways of dealing with the problem at a team and organisational level.

Services, supports and interventions are available to help deal with the problem at team and organisational level. Talk with one of our Occupational Health Psychologists to explore an approach which is meaningful for the problem presenting in your workplace. 

Creating a Culture of Dignity

Each day about 15% of people in your workplace are consistently experiencing some form of bullying behaviour while at work
(Neilsen& Einarsen 2018).

The most recent comprehensive study here in Ireland has revealed that over 30% of the Irish workforce has either experienced, witnessed or perpetuated some form of bullying behaviour over the past two years
(Hodgins et al, IOSH 2017).

Organisations can struggle to find a meaningful way of addressing the problem. It is not unusual for organisations to:

  • Ignore or make excuses for situations where they know or suspect that a culture of bullying may exist
  • Rely on a culture of bullying to help it achieve organisational goals
  • Feel helpless in situations where behaviours are difficult to capture and prove, or where interpersonal relationships have soured considerably.

Organisations can no longer rely a Dignity At Work policy to affect meaningful change.

By using the insights gained from behavioural and cognitive science, AHR can develop systemic solutions to problem behaviours in your workplace. Talk with one of our team of Occupational Health Psychologists and explore how we can help.


Bullying, Harassment, Sexual Harassment Investigation

Anyone who has ever been through an investigation process, either as a plaintiff or as an alleged perpetrator, will tell you how brutalising and isolating an experience it can be.

As investigative processes become increasingly adversarial, the toll the process itself takes on individuals can be enormous. Individuals have reported how stressful the whole process was, and how their physical and psychological health suffered.

One of the primary reasons why individuals are unwilling to report inappropriate behaviour in the workplace is due to negative perceptions and experiences of the investigative process

(O’Driscoll et al. 2011)

The Personal Support process provides meaningful psychological support to individuals during and after the investigation process. It specifically focuses on:

  • Providing psychological skills to sustain the employee’s psychological health and wellbeing
  • Identifying ways in which working relationships can be re-established between individuals and within the wider work team
  • Guiding and supporting the organisation, in developing an appropriate organisational response to prevent further issues of a similar nature arising.

Each programme developed and delivered in accordance with the needs of each presenting situation. Talk in confidence with a member of our Psychological Team who help develop a tailored proposal.


Workshops and Programmes


Workshop and Coaching for Managers & Team Leads

One of the key reasons why inappropriate behaviour can take hold in the workplace is due to the fact that such behaviour is ignored by Managers and Team Leads.

This workshop provides managers and team leads with the information and confidence needed to manage difficult interpersonal situations among team members.

  • Legal obligations – Health & Safety and Equality Legislation
  • Your organisation’s Dignity At Work policy – key elements, roles and responsibilities Behaviour At Work – Inappropriate, Bullying, Harassment & Sexual Harassment
  • Understanding your role as Manager and Team Lead in addressing this behaviour Having the Conversation
  • Preparation – having a solid basis for your discussion Using different styles of engagement – clarifying, listening, supporting and challenging
  • Avoiding mistakes – defensiveness, escalating, diffusing and going off-topic, Making appropriate notes
  • Follow up – ensuring that the behaviour has stopped and engagement has changed.
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Workshop for Leaders

Leaders play a critical role in setting the behavioural norms by which dignity is made real within the workplace.

Leaders set the priorities and others follow. Research (Harvey et al 2009) shows that the reaction of others, including Leaders and Managers, to bullying sets the parameters for what is deemed acceptable and can encourage bullying to persist within the workplace.

Those in a leadership or management role need to be particularly attuned to how the dynamic of bullying may be prevalent within the organisation. They need to ensure that they act quickly to challenge and deal with behaviours, practices and processes which inculcate a culture of bullying.

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Challenging Inappropriate Behaviour At Work

Research is beginning to show that Bystander Intervention Training is a more effective means of training people on bullying, harassment and sexual harassment (HBR, 2020) than the traditional “forbidden behaviours” approach.

This approach views each participant as being a potential ally in eliminating inappropriate behaviour. It does not present people as being potential perpetrators or victims, but that each one of us has a powerful role in acting to prevent the problem from occurring in the first place.

AHR’s By-stander Intervention Training explores changing our behaviour at all key perspectives. In particular the programme deals with:

  • Understand Bullying, Harassment & Sexual Harassment
  • Experiencing, witnessing and perpetrating inappropriate behaviour
  • By-stander Intervention
  • Disrupt, Confront, Support, Report
  • Engaging in respectful behaviours at work
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