Workplace bullying has grown into a silent killer and an epidemic in the United States, costing organizations astronomically, in terms of employee productivity and employee well-being. Workplace bullying is also called psychological harassment or emotional abuse. A person may not resort to physical violence, but would use other tacit ways like words and actions to inflict harm. A targeted worker may suffer at the physical, emotional and mental level.
To focus on the pertinent subject of workplace bullying and to obliterate this systematic ploy by an employee to uproot a colleague or subordinate in an organization, “Freedom from Workplace Bullies Week,” is observed every year in the U.S. This year, it is observed from October 15-21.Bullying is a planned campaign by somebody to destroy another individual. There is corroding of one’s health, job, career and it is tantamount to non-homicidal violence. It causes both emotional and physical harm to the victim because of the insurmountable stress.
There are different ways a workplace bully can take shape. A perpetrator usually abuses power and tries to bring misery into the victim’s life, especially during working hours. Bullies may highlight errors, make unreasonable work demands, deprive them of credit, insults, threatening job loss and undermine achievements.
Workplace bullying a serious issue
Bullying is defined as “repeated mistreatment: sabotage by others that prevented work from getting done, verbal abuse, threatening conduct, intimidation and humiliation,” by two surveys- the Workplace Bullying Institute (WBI) and Zogby International. According to the findings, 35 percent of the workers had firsthand experience of bullying of which 62 percent of the tormentors were men.
Another survey, the Harris Interactive poll found in 2011, that 34 percent of women experience bullying in the workplace. The WBI survey revealed that majority of the bullies belonged to the upper ranks, like the bosses, managers, supervisors, and executives. These people with some authority and clout in the workplace try to trample their subordinates and make their life hell. There is immense emotional turmoil the victims undergo. Their work-life balance goes for a toss and they are drained psychologically and physically.
Organization too suffers due to bullying
Bullying also takes its toll on the organization as well. There are high levels of stress in employees who suffer from bullying and it leads to absenteeism and attrition. The organization, as a result, has to bear the burden of loss. A study by John Medina revealed that bullied workers perform 50 percent worse in cognitive tests.
Companies need to be vigilant to thwart bullies
It is the obligation of the organization to keep a tab on each employee within it. A petrified bullied employee will hardly summon up courage and stand against any oppression in the workplace. Organizations will need to adopt a new definition of leadership and define it in terms of a worker’s ability to build and maintain a high-performing team. Reining in the people who are at the helm can make a huge difference.
Bullying can deal serious blows to a person emotionally, and wreak them from inside. Hence, at times, it may become necessary to seek professional help outside.
If you have a loved one in the family who is struggling with any bullying at the workplace and is suffering from any mental health condition due to it, seek immediate help from a credible rehab. Sovereign Health is a leading behavioral health provider in the United States with state-of-the-art facilities in major places in the country. Whether it is a mental health rehab, you are looking for or any other mental ailment, help is just a call away.