There is no doubt that workplace bullying has always been a problem but is it because of greater awareness that things seem to have gotten worse, or is it a rising trend and incidents are increasing?
If you search workplace harassment California, for instance, you can find guidance and help on the subject. It also demonstrates what a problem workplace bullying has become when it becomes necessary to seek legal help for protection against harassment.
Here’s an overview of where things currently stand on the subject of workplace bullying.
What is workplace bullying?
Bullying comes in many forms and ranges in severity. However, it is not acceptable at any level. It describes a scenario where an employee is repeatedly subjected to actions and words that are intended to degrade, humiliate, and control someone.
Here are some examples of workplace bullying
Using foul or abusive language towards a work colleague
Criticizing their work and ignoring their opinion
Making someone the target of practical jokes or offensive personal remarks
Using a raised voice when speaking to another colleague
Spreading false rumors about another colleague
These are just a few examples of the sort of bullying that regularly takes place in a work environment on a daily basis.
The other threat that many now face is cyberbullying.
This is when social media posts are used to carry out bullying tactics and post offensive content about someone. This still constitutes workplace bullying even if it is not happening directly in a work environment.
The impact of workplace bullying
As well as a greater awareness and willingness to call out examples of workplace bullying we have also all become acutely aware of the terrible mental and physical impact it can have on a victim.
Bullying in the workplace is a problem that impacts employees and employers alike. It is surely no coincidence that in companies where a bullying culture exists, there is often a much higher turnover of staff and greater levels of absenteeism.
The productivity and creativity of employees become severely restrained when they are subject to workplace bullying. Employers not only have a duty to treat their employees fairly but they also need to take action to eradicate the problem of bullying if it comes to light within their organization.
A workplace where bullying is tolerated or overlooked is going to create a very poor environment where employees will not be able to perform to their best abilities.
A lack of legislation
One of the fundamental reasons why workplace bullying remains a constant problem throughout the world is a lack of legislation to tackle the issue.
In North America, for instance, there is very little legislation in place to deal with the problem. Cultural attitudes mean that bullying behaviors can be viewed differently in countries around the world.
That doesn’t mean it is ever acceptable. It is down to responsible employers to impose their own strict rules and code of conduct. Incidents of bullying need to be called out and dealt with in an appropriate way.
Has the problem of workplace bullying gotten worse?
The bottom line is that it is a cancer that can eat away and badly affect anyone subjected to workplace bullying. It can also have a detrimental impact and cause reputational damage to a company if they don’t deal with it.
It is a problem that maybe hasn’t gotten any worse than it always was. The big difference these days is that it is more likely to be called out and victims have more opportunities to do something about it.
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