Discussion – Bullying in the workplace

workplace bullying

Workplace Bullying –  What can be done to combat it??? Have your say and let us know what you think…

Bullying  affects thousands of workers across the world every single day. Its an issue that seems to be growing all the time. No one should have to suffer the affects of any form of bullying. We want your views, opinions and your stories if you yourself have been a victim of bullying in the workplace.

A little bit about Workplace bullying

According to the Workplace Bullying and Trauma Institute workplace bullying is “repeated, health-harming mistreatment, verbal abuse, or conduct which is threatening, humiliating, intimidating, or sabotage that interferes with work, or some combination of the three.”

Statistics show that bullying is 3 times as prevalent as illegal discrimination and at least 1,600 times as prevalent as workplace violence.

Statistics also show that while only one employee in every 10,000 becomes a victim of workplace violence, one in six experiences bullying at work. Bullying is  more common than sexual harassment,  but it is verbal abuse that is the most common form of bullying in the workplace.

Effects of workplace bullying

  • High blood pressure
  • Insomnia
  • Trouble with relationships due to stress over work
  • Post traumatic stress disorder
  • Stress
  • Absenteeism and low productivity
  • Lowered self-esteem and depression
  • Anxiety
  • Digestive upsets

To read what workplacebullying.org has to say, and for advice bullying please click the following link http://www.workplacebullying.org/

No one deserves to be bullied!!!

What do you think can be done to combat workplace bullying? Please feel free to share your views and opinions on this subject. We look forward to hearing what you have to say.Tomthumb

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4 Responses to Discussion – Bullying in the workplace

  1. Maxwell Pinto says:

    Targets, victims and witnesses of bullying have a few avenues to pursue (as compared with victims of sexual harassment) when subject to repeated and obvious acts of aggression, spreading malicious rumours, excluding someone socially or from certain projects, undermining or impeding a person’s work or opinions, insulting a person’s habits, attitudes, or private life and intruding upon a person’s privacy. Others include being rude or belligerent, destroying property, assaulting an individual, or setting impossible deadlines. Although bullying is recognized as detrimental to occupational health, there is little political or corporate interest in stopping it.

    In schoolyard bullying, the bullies are children, whose behaviour is controlled by the leaders, i.e. the school administration. In workplace bullying, however, the bullies are often the leaders themselves, i.e., the managers and supervisors. Therefore, reporting a bully to the HR dept, for example, may expose the target/victim to the risk of even more bullying, slower career advancement, or even termination, on the grounds of being a “troublemaker!”.

    Workplace bullying has severe consequences, including reduced effectiveness and high employee turnover. An employee who suffers any physical or psychiatric injury as a result of workplace bullying can confront the bully, report the bully to the HR department or to the trade union, if any, or bring a claim of negligence and/or a personal injury claim against both the employer and the abusive employee as joint respondents in the claim. If the law does not persuade employers to deal with workplace bullying, the economic reality will persuade them. Training sessions can help when combined with a confidential reporting structure, but it is difficult to alter the basic nature of some individuals, who may need counselling.

    Maxwell Pinto, Business Author

  2. Sonia says:

    The employer first of all must have developed a zero tolerance policy that encourages reporting of bullying and harrassment in a safe, confidential environment. My organization published a comprehensive list of what might constitute outlawed behaviour. Next there must be clear consequences for the behaviour documented. Quick turn around times for acknowledging, investigating and reporting back to the complainant are important. Support for the reporting person is a requisite often overlooked. If the case is proved and someone has to move/leave then it should be the bully who has to go. All too often the victim is the one who leaves the organization for their health and wellbeing. If all the safeguards have been put in place this should not be the case. I would suggest that bullying and harrassment be considered a risk in every workplace and employees be reminded of this in a workplace training cycle and that an employee survey be conducted together with the completion of the employee’s performance plans to detect signs of behaviour as early as possible. The employer must recognize that an organizational psychopath within their workplaces is a potential worker’s compensation claim in the making.
    Anyone who has the capacity to influence legislation specifically dealing with bullying and harrassment should progress the law making as a matter of priority.

    • Sheila says:

      I agree, “anyone who has the capacity to influence legislation specifically dealing with bullying and harassment should progress the law making as a matter of priority”, because the flame is more exciting to the bully knowing there is no punishment in place for them.

  3. Sheila says:

    Just the other day, as I was watching T.V. there were two comercials from McDonalds that were played. One where a group of men were playing poker with their boss. The boss made sure that the players knew that promotion would be on the line if they didn’t make the “right” decision and let the boss win. Now, with this comercial in mind I sit an ponder how many bosses do use their “power” of authority in belittling ways. Another comercial was viewed awhile ago where there was one person who wanted to “go out” for lunch and the others were in fear of following her out to lunch. Fear, drives those individuals to not take a stand over a simple action like lunch out. If these comercials are accepted as the norms of the workplace, then so many others would become complacient to the fact that these bullying tactics are still detrimental to the work environment. Makes me wonder what the rest of the work environment is like.

    I have been a victim of such underlying and sly tactics. Many states do not have the proper legislation in place to protect those in the workplace. Bullies on the playground becomes bullies at work. Now, what can be done if this is the case in your workplace? Doccumentation, incidenet reporting, and be willing to take a stand for your rights to a safe and healthy work environment. Yes, there are lawyers out there that can fight the system and yes, there are people out there winning their workplace bullying battles in court. The more people take a stand the more noticed the policies will become and more people will find strength they need to take a stand for themselves or for others they see as being abused by a boss.

    What can one do? Take care of your wellbeing when you become the target. There are many books recently available to help you to heal and protect yourself while dealing with the trauma experienced during bullying. Make sure you keep track of the amount of days that you have felt ill, had health issues develop due to the increased stress, and most of all seek professional treatment to doccument Post traumatic syndrome. The effects are huge and should be addressed for everyone has the right to a safe and healthy workplace.

    Become an active member in the groups in your state to get legislation passed that makes bullying in the workplace illegal. Your story needs to be known by those who have direct decision making process in the state. Write your story, send it off to those who serve you. Make a noise and make yourself be heard. Rosa parks was only one, but she changed the world. There are many of us victims and we can change the world too if we fight together and stand for out rights and the rights of others. Look up the groups in your state who are figting for you and join in the cause.

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