How to Spot and Stop Bullying in the Workplace

How to Spot and Stop Bullying in the Workplace blog header

Workplace bullying, a distressing phenomenon, has become a pervasive concern that demands attention from organizations. This detrimental practice refers to the repetitive and intentional mistreatment, humiliation, or intimidation of employees by colleagues, superiors, or subordinates. Far from an isolated issue, workplace bullying poses severe threats to both the business and the culture of an organization by undermining productivity, innovation, and employee morale.  

Comprehending the gravity of workplace bullying and its impact on organizations is crucial in implementing effective measures to combat this destructive behavior and cultivate a harmonious, inclusive, and productive work environment. In this blog post, we are shedding light on the prevalence of workplace bullying and its potential impact on organizations. Additionally, we will offer strategies on how employers can tackle and address bullying in their workplaces. 

  1. The Statistics: To fully understand the severity of workplace bullying, it’s crucial to delve into the frequency of its occurrence.  Roughly 30% of employees have been subjected to bullying in the workplace, and:
    1. 23% of those victimized by bullying chose to resign. 
    2. 65% of workplace bullies are managers and bosses.
    3. 49% of workers are “affected” by workplace bullying, implying either direct or indirect encounters with the issue. 
    4. 66% of employees acknowledge that bullying occurs in their workplaces.
  1. The Signs:  Identifying signs of workplace bullying is essential for preemptively addressing and mitigating its detrimental effects. Common indicators may manifest in various ways, such as persistent and unjustified criticism aimed at a particular employee, exclusion from important meetings or social interactions, or the spreading of false rumors and gossip to tarnish an individual’s reputation. Furthermore, the practice of undermining someone’s work by taking credit for their achievements or sabotaging their efforts is another evident sign of workplace bullying. Subtle yet potent instances, like constantly belittling an employee’s ideas or creating a hostile work environment through verbal abuse, can also be indicative of bullying.
  1. The Impact: Workplace bullying encompasses behaviors that are threatening, degrading or intimidating; acts that negatively impede an employee’s work, or any form of physical or verbal abuse. Such harmful experiences within a workplace foster a climate of unease and apprehension. As highlighted above, these actions can contribute to an influx in resignations, due to decreased employee happiness and mental health. In addition, misconduct like bullying opens the door for increased reputational risk to any organization. If not properly handled, workplace bullying can decrease employee productivity and retention, while also leading to possible litigation, which can directly impact an organization’s bottom line. Further, its toxic presence erodes trust, stifles creativity, and fosters an environment of fear, ultimately hindering the growth and success of any workplace. 
  1. The Solutions: In order to mitigate bullying in the workplace, it’s imperative for employers and employees to be proactive. Employers must ensure their current policies, procedures and training are in alignment with the standards of respect and decorum expected within the workplace. Furthermore, employers should respond to issues and complaints of bullying impartially, utilizing an incident management platform that offers support and transparency to those who report workplace bullying. While it’s crucial that respect is modeled from the top, it’s equally crucial for employees to comprehend the gravity of workplace bullying and feel safe to report misconduct when it happens. 

While it is not illegal, workplace bullying is unacceptable and fosters a toxic workplace culture. Work Shield is dedicated to protecting people and their organizations, while also preserving workplace culture. As an unbiased third-party, Work Shield offers the only comprehensive solution that helps employees safely report instances of misconduct, including bullying, harassment and discrimination. Through its incident management platform, Work Shield is enabling a safe space for employees to report bullying without fear while providing employers the opportunity to protect their workplace culture, build trust with employees and effectively mitigate risk.

Learn more about Work Shield’s incident management solution here. 

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