Workplace bullying can be done either by a co-worker or by a manager against an individual by singling them out for harassment. Bullying is often done to embarrass someone, flaunt superiority over someone, whether the superiority is real or perceived. While bullying someone is often done by just one person, a group of people can gang up to bully the victim in the workplace as well.
Consequences of Bullying
Incidents of bullying seem to be increasing in the workplace all across the country. A survey taken by the Harvard Business Review in 2011 showed that half of the employees that answered questionnaires said that they were treated rudely at least once a week. That statistic showed an increase of at least 25% over a similar survey taken in 1998.
When people are bullied at work, overall productivity can suffer and it can be the cause of high turnover in positions. A person who is being bullied can suffer from:
4. Lower Self-Esteem
5. Have Problems in their Relationships
Business Consequences of Bullying
Not only does bullying have effects on the person being abused, but the business can suffer as well. Low productivity and absenteeism can affect the quality of work that is done in the office or on the production line, leading to a loss in profits for the business. If the bully is a manager, he or she may be focused on bullying rather than work and miss opportunities to help the company improve or advance in their industry.
It can also become more difficult to fill positions in a business if they develop a reputation as being a bad or hostile place to work. One person’s bullying behavior, especially if that person is in a position of power, can reflect poorly on an entire company. Not only will they have trouble recruiting people to work for them, but the company may start to lose clients as well.
Preventing Workplace Bullying
Although there are no federal laws regarding bullying in the workplace, many companies are starting to recognize the negative consequences and they are instituting zero tolerance policies. They are training managers in how to recognize and prevent bullying on the job, which can lead to a happier, healthier work environment. In turn, a better environment at work will make employees more productive and help increase a company’s profitability. It can also help prevent legal action by an employee.
Keith Miller has over 25 years experience as a CEO and serial entrepreneur. As an entreprenuer, he has founded several multi-million dollar companies. As a writer, Keith's work has been mentioned in CIO Magazine, Workable, BizTech, and The Charlotte Observer. If you have any questions about the content of this blog post, then please send our content editing team a message here.