How to Deal with Workplace Bullying
Workplace Bullying Definition and ExamplesLike child-rearing, abolishing workplace bullying takes a village to accomplish effectively and is ideally tackled by more than just one person. Workplace bullying is more than just a single instance of insensitive or hurtful words or actions; it’s a pattern of targeted negative behavior that incites significant distress in a work colleague. Training and coaching professional, Bonnie Low-Kramen, defines workplace bullying as, “persistent, offensive, abusive, intimidating or insulting behavior or unfair action directed at another individual causing the recipient to feel threatened, abused, humiliated, or vulnerable… [They] cause work interference and undermine the individual’s rights to dignity at work.” Some common examples of workplace bullying include:
- Publicly humiliating other(s)
- Sending abusive emails
- Belittling other(s) opinions
- Withholding information
- Sabotaging the work of other(s)
Individual and Corporate Impacts of Workplace BullyingBullying behaviors hurt more than just the feelings of the recipient; they can seriously impact the health of the bullied. Potential health impacts can include:
- Stress, leading to ulcers, high blood pressure, and even PTSD
- Panic attacks
- Suicidal thoughts
- Trouble sleeping
- Eating disorders
- Lower company productivity and morale
- Higher employee absenteeism and turnover
- Increased cost of recruiting and training new employees
- Higher risk of legal action
What HR and Leadership Can Do about Workplace BullyingAs with many corporate risk factors, prevention is the most cost-effective way to deal with workplace bullying. Invest in educating your workforce on how bullying negatively impacts both people and business, as well as how to identify those behaviors. A person being bullied at work shouldn’t have to handle it on their own, so be available and have an assistance plan ready in case you need it. Create a policy and procedure that assigns consequences, such as write-ups or counseling, for bullying behaviors, and enforce them. Additionally, pre-employment background screenings such as personal and professional references can help you identify bullying behaviors before your hire people to your organization. You can use this information to create lists of acceptable and unacceptable workplace behavior that you can then share with your whole workforce.
About Tammy Cohen
Tammy Cohen, an industry pioneer and expert in identity and employment screening, founded InfoMart 30 years ago. Deemed the “Queen of Screen,” she’s been a force behind industry-leading innovations. She was most recently the first-to-market with a fully compliant sanctions search, as well as a suite of identity services that modernizes talent onboarding. Tammy revolutionized the screening industry when she stepped into the field, developing the first client-facing application and a due diligence criminal search that has since become standard for all background screening companies. Cohen has received national awards and honors for her business and civic involvement, including Atlanta Business Chronicle’s Top 25 Women-Owned Firms in Atlanta, Enterprising Women Magazine’s Enterprising Women of the Year award, the YWCA of Northwest Georgia’s Kathryn Woods Racial Justice Award, and a commendation in the 152nd Congressional Record. To learn more about Tammy, visit www.tammycohen.com.
InfoMart has been revolutionizing the global background and identity screening industry for 30 years, providing businesses the information they need to make informed hiring decisions. They develop innovative technology that modernizes talent onboarding, including a first-to-market biometric identity authentication application and a verified sanctions search. The WBENC-certified company is a founding member of the Professional Background Screening Association, and they have achieved PBSA accreditation in recognition of their consistent business practices and commitment to compliance with the FCRA. The company is dedicated to customer service, speed, and accuracy, and it has been recognized for its success, workplace culture, and corporate citizenship with over 45 industry awards. To Get the Whole Story on InfoMart, please visit www.InfoMart-USA.com, follow @InfoMartUSA, or call (770) 984-2727.