When we think of bullying, we often imagine schoolyards or locker rooms, but bullying in the workplace is more prevalent than you might think. Over 65 million Americans are affected by bullying, and it is negatively affecting the health of individuals and companies across the Nation.
Effects of Bullying
Victims of bullies often experience depression, reduced self-esteem, and anxiety. The stress from being bullied can also manifest as physical pain. Heartburn, migraines, muscle & joint pain, and stomach issues, to name a few.
Companies are not immune to the effects of a workplace bully. Consequences on businesses include: high turnover rate, decreased productivity, lowered morale, increased illness & injury costs, low morale, and poor public image.
Prevent and Manage Workplace Bullying
It is everyone’s responsibility to stop bullying from happening. Here are a few tips for employees and employers to consider in the prevention and management of workplace bullying:
- Understand and recognize the signs of a workplace bully
- Address the bully directly and attempt to work through problems together
- Document details including events and/or actions, times, dates, and witnesses
- Intervene if you witness a co-worker being bullied. Confront the bully with his/her own behaviour
- Report bullying behaviour
- Set a clear standard of workplace behaviour
- Implement and enforce a workplace bullying policy
- Provide training and awareness for employees to recognize the signs and impacts of bullying
- Take all bullying reports seriously
- Respond quickly to reports of bullying