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Counselling drive to target workplace violence

Bahrain News
Sat, 10 Feb 2018
Raji Unnikrishnan

WORKPLACE violence and mental stress in employees will be the focus of a new counselling campaign set to be launched next month (March).

The first-of-its-kind initiative will also seek to advise companies over loss, low growth rate and financial crisis.

Some 20 companies have shown an interest in the project, according to Darussalam Public Relations Centre founder and chairman Muhammed Riyas.

“We came up with this idea after studying the working environment in Bahrain with the focus on expatriate employees,” he told the GDN on the sidelines of a Press conference held to announce the launch of the Resolving Industrial Crisis (RIC) campaign.

“Violence (among expatriates) at the work place is on the rise, mostly due to politics, religion and community issues.

“We need to explain to the employees the real purpose of us working in a foreign country is to earn a living and not to fight amongst ourselves.”

Workplace violence usually occurs when an employee or former employee commits violence against other employees on the organisation’s grounds.

Mr Riyas also said many companies are exploiting employees, using the economic crisis as an excuse not to pay wages or terminate their services.

“This puts both the employers and employees under pressure.

“Many skilled and experienced employees are choosing jobs in other countries which might affect even corporates.

“We found the actual reason behind the situation was mismanagement.

“We have small and middle group companies spending BD4,000 to BD6,000 on a New Year party.

“How sensible is this? They can very well use this money to give a bonus or perk to the employees.”

A major emphasis of RIC efforts will be face-to-face talks with employees.

“Our study shows that most of the expatriate employees in Bahrain are under mental stress, mainly because they are anticipating worse days.

“It is mainly feedback from friends and families in other GCC countries which put expatriates under stress as they anticipate a similar situation in Bahrain.

“We need to curb this with face-to-face talks.”

As part of the counselling campaign, the RIC will take responsibility of a company for at least three months depending on the crisis it is facing.

“We will recommend the perfect solution and work with the companies on their resilience strategy to help them analyse organisational risk, be better prepared for crisis, reduce the disruption to production and maintain credibility and reputation.”

Any organisation that is not prepared for a crisis will be constantly at risk, said Mr Riyas.

“The RIC will equip organisations to face threats to their survival.

“Awareness of potential threats can better place an organisation to take preventive action, thereby avoiding more serious problems.

“Appropriate planning for potential industry-wide crisis can give a company the upper hand over ill-prepared competitors.

“All of these can literally save lives, save money and save an organisation from devastation.”

The other members of the team are Mohammed Nidheer and Shameer Salim.