Bullying in The Workplace


Bullying in The Workplace - Professionally Unacceptable!

Victims of sexual harassment may have workplace policies and legislation to protect them, but victims of bullying seldom have the same avenues to pursue when subject to obvious acts of aggression and subtler actions such as spreading malicious rumors or gossip, excluding or isolating someone socially, undermining or impeding a person's work or opinions, unjustified exclusion from certain projects, removing areas of responsibility without cause, and intruding upon a person's privacy by pestering, stalking, or spying . Others include being rude or belligerent, destroying property, assaulting an individual, or setting impossible deadlines. The Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety (CCOHS) in Hamilton, Canada defines workplace bullying as "behavior that humiliates, demoralizes or undermines a victim's credibility or personal well-being."Have a look at bullying at work  for more info on this.

       

Bullying may be directed at single individuals or groups on the basis of race, gender, age, or other attributes and can result in reduced effectiveness at work and elsewhere. Herschcovis and Julian Barling, professors at Queen's University, Ontario, reviewed 110 studies conducted over twenty-one years. Their findings confirmed that workplace aggression-incivility, including rudeness and discourteous verbal and nonverbal behavior, repeatedly reminding employees of mistakes, spreading gossip and lies, ignoring or excluding workers, and insulting a person's habits, attitudes, or private life-had worse effects on performance than sexual harassment.

Workers are aware of what constitutes sexual harassment because of their training and exposure to such a concept, but the same does not apply to their awareness of what constitutes bullying in the workplace, according to Herschcovis. Victims of sexual harassment can report the abuse to their human resource department or their union or take legal action, and the same should apply to bullying in the workplace.

                  

Debra Comer, professor of management at the Zarb School of Business at Hofstra University, who has researched bullying and harassment, believes that only a small proportion of bullied individuals actually admitted that they had been bullied. Bullied individuals reported being more angry, anxious, and stressed, as well as more dissatisfied with their jobs and their bosses, and more likely to quit than victims of sexual harassment.

Workplace bullying has more severe consequences, including higher employee turnover, than sexual harassment although sexual harassment itself can be interpreted as a form of bullying (i.e., a combination of disrespect and an abuse of power). A recent U.S. study found that bullied workers are less likely to volunteer to help other employees or assist with company activities or committees or support changes in the workplace. They are also less likely to speak positively about their employer, which could affect recruitment efforts. In the United States, although bullying is recognized as detrimental to occupational health, there is little political or corporate interest in stopping it.



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