Sedgemoor business employees are benefitting from free workshops to develop skills and awareness in conflict resolution and anti-bullying, thanks to Taunton based charity Stand Against Violence and funding from Somerset’s Hinkley Point C power station project.
The workshops have been taking place at the Mercure Bridgwater hotel and covered a range of critical but underserved topics. Beginning in January, the Conflict Resolution session helped understand conflict by identifying types of behaviour and recognising the impact of aggression or violence in the workplace, before introducing new skills to de-escalate and prevent conflict. The Anti-Bullying workshop in February explored different forms of workplace bullying and its impact on people and businesses, then introduced skills to help manage encounters with this type of behaviour.
Both workshops were funded by the Hinkley Point C power station project, as part of a diverse social responsibility initiative being implemented throughout the region, and have been specially developed to tackle problems that have become all too prevalent throughout UK businesses. As Hannah Palmer, lead training facilitator at Stand Against Violence, explains:
“Workplace bullying affects all sectors at all levels of seniority in organisations throughout the UK, and is far more common than most people think. In many situations, bullying is so embedded in the corporate culture, that workers struggle even to identify what counts as unacceptable. At the same time, most of us lack the very skills we need to deal with aggressive or violent behaviour.”
The workshops were limited to 15 participants representing a diverse range of organisations from the Sedgemoor district, spanning sectors from legal and hospitality to care providers and charities. For Ms Palmer, the high level of interest among participants was particularly notable.
“It has been really encouraging to see so much enthusiasm and engagement in the room. We have explored a challenging topic in a positive and proactive way, and I am delighted to report that all of the attendees so far say they would recommend the workshop to colleagues and to other businesses. There seems to be a genuine determination to move office culture forward toward healthier, happier environments and a more productive workforce.”
Conflict and bullying in the workplace are topics that are rapidly gaining traction among employers across the country, against a backdrop of worrying statistics. Research carried out by YouGov revealed a startling 29% of employees in Britain claimed to be bullied at work, and 36% of those who had reported bullying at work ended up leaving their jobs because of it.
The statistics reveal a pressing need that has led Stand Against Violence to launch SAV Business Training, a new corporate training division designed to fulfil what CEO Adam Fouracre sees as an urgent role for third sector organisations with non-violence and anti-bullying expertise:
“Research by the Office for National Statistics has found that 24% of recorded violent incidents in the UK occur in the workplace. HPC’s generous funding of the Sedgemoor project comes as we launch SAV Business Training, which aims to tackle one of the UK’s most prevalent forms of violence and bullying in our society — one which has devastating effects on individuals and can really impact on the productivity of businesses too.”
Stand Against Violence’s new business training division builds on over a decade of delivering anti-bullying and non-violence workshops to schools, colleges, young offenders institutions and even football clubs, reaching over 18,000 young people across England and Wales every year. The charity was founded by Mr Fouracre, following the unprovoked murder of his 17-year-old brother Lloyd in Taunton, in 2005.
SAV Business Training workshops are now available to all organisations across the UK. For more information, contact business development consultant Dave Cheeseman at firstname.lastname@example.org