The impact of bullying in the workplace can be far-reaching and devastating. It can cause physical and psychological harm to victims, lead to absenteeism and reduced productivity, and create a hostile work environment. Overall, bullying can have an immensely negative effect on both the individual and the organization.
It’s also important to recognize that employers are legally responsible for providing a safe and harassment-free workplace. If you are being bullied at work, then you have the right to take legal action against your employer.
From the company’s perspective, not only could this be expensive in monetary terms, but it also will take management time away from running the business and have a negative impact on the morale of the other employees.
So what can employers do to stop bullying in the workplace?
There are several things employers can do to address bullying in the workplace, including:
Developing and enforcing anti-bullying policies
This means having a policy in place that prohibits bullying and outlines the consequences for violating the policy. The policy should be clearly communicated to all employees and regularly enforced.
Creating a reporting system
This gives employees a way to confidentially report incidents of bullying. Make sure to follow up on all reports and take appropriate action. It’s essential that whoever is designated to receive notifications is someone employees feel comfortable coming to.
Fostering a culture of respect
This includes modeling respectful behavior, encouraging employees to speak up if they witness bullying, and intervening when necessary. Promoting a culture of respect goes a long way in preventing bullying from happening in the first place.
Training managers and employees on what constitutes bullying behavior and how to report it can help create a culture of respect and zero tolerance for bullying.
As indicated in Protex AI’s workplace violence glossary, it’s crucial for staff members to be adept at identifying potential threats in advance, enabling them to respond effectively when needed.
Conducting investigations into allegations of bullying
When allegations of bullying are made, it is essential to conduct a thorough investigation. This will help to determine what happened and whether sufficient evidence supports the allegations.
Taking appropriate disciplinary action
If an employee is found to have engaged in bullying behavior, appropriate disciplinary action should be taken. This may include a warning, probation, or even termination.
What Forms Does Bullying Take?
Bullying can take many different forms, but it typically involves some form of repeated offensive or aggressive behavior. It’s important to recognize that bullying can be both covert and overt. This means that it can be either obvious or subtle that only the bully and the person being bullied are aware of it taking place.
The different forms of bullying include-
This includes any type of physical violence or aggression, such as hitting, kicking, shoving, or even just threatening violence.
Verbal bullying is when someone makes hurtful or threatening comments, including name-calling, insults, and put-downs. Never make the mistake of considering this just to be ‘banter’ – it can be just as harmful as physical bullying.
Social bullying is when someone tries to harm someone’s reputation or social standing. This can include spreading rumors, excluding someone from a group, or deliberately embarrassing them in front of others.
Cyberbullying is when someone uses technology to bully someone else. This can include sending threatening or hurtful messages, posting humiliating images or videos, or creating fake profiles or websites.
This involves trying to harm someone’s reputation or social standing. This can include spreading rumors, gossiping, or excluding someone from a group.
The Impact of Bullying on a Business
The impact of bullying on a business can be significant. Bullying can lead to:
When an individual is experiencing bullying, they may have difficulty concentrating and completing their work, which can lead to a drop in productivity. This means that meetings are held with staff to understand what may be causing the issue where there are cases of reduced productivity. Don’t jump to conclusions!
Employees who are bullied may start calling in sick more often or take more unscheduled days off. The last place in the world they want to be is at work, where they are being bullied.
High staff turnover
Employees who are repeatedly subjected to bullying may eventually start looking for a new jobs. This can lead to high staff turnover, which can be costly for a business and cause productivity reductions.
A workplace where bullying is tolerated can have a negative effect on employee morale. Employees may start to feel like they are not valued or that their safety is not a priority.
If an employee feels like they have been the victim of bullying, they may take legal action against the company. This can be both time-consuming and incredibly expensive. It’s also worth considering that should the case go to legal action, it’s likely to appear in the local press, which could damage the business’s reputation.