Bullies aren’t always a distant memory from childhood. Unfortunately, bullies exist in everyday life, including the workplace.
Verbal abuse, gossip, and unjust criticism are just a few examples of what workplace bullying can look like.
Regardless of the form, it’s important that leadership intervenes. To maintain a productive and safe workplace environment, it’s critical that employees feel protected by their employers.
In this article, we explore what workplace bullying looks like and its effect on both employees and employers.
What Is Workplace Bullying?
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) defines harassment as unwelcome verbal or physical behavior that is based on race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy), gender/gender identity, nationality, age (40 or older), physical or mental disability, or genetic information.
It is harmful behavior that usually creates a pattern and is directed at an individual or small group of people. Some examples include:
- Targeted jokes
- Verbal Abuse
- Excessive monitoring
- Unjust criticism
Some forms of workplace bullying are obvious. However, since bullying is oftentimes psychological in nature, it might not always be heard or seen
Signs Of Workplace Bullying
Signs that an employee is being bullied can vary. A common feeling reported by those who are victims of bullying is a sense of isolation. Workplace bullying can affect the person’s health and job performance. Here are some early warning signs that an employee could be a victim of bullying:
- Difficulty making decisions
- Discomfort in social workplace situations
- Low productivity
- Lack of motivation
- High anxiety
How Bullying Affects The Workplace
Companies with a toxic work environment can experience negative consequences. They usually see a decrease in employee performance, productivity, and morale. Employees lose trust in the employer and the company. Team dynamics begin to crumble and the financial burden of possible legal costs becomes overwhelming.
Here’s what employers can do to help prevent workplace bullying:
- Educate Employees On Behavior. Regularly discuss what is acceptable behavior in the workplace. Help others to identify what inappropriate behavior looks like and understand it will not be tolerated.
- Establish A Zero Tolerance Policy. Make sure to clearly outline how your company will deal with the consequences in order to show your employees this is a serious matter with significant repercussions.
- Consider Proper Training. Proper training is essential for how to handle conflict and inappropriate behavior in the workplace quickly and privately.
It is always in the company’s best interest to take necessary preventative measures and all reports of bullying seriously. Not only is it more cost effective than going down the legal road to lawsuits, but it’s also the right thing to do if you care about your employees and the future of your business. Businesses can help to educate their employees as well as work to foster a trusting and positive work environment.
We Can Help With Employee Training
If you want to be sure that you’re running a healthy workplace environment, let Balance Point take the lead. Contact us today to find out more and see how we can help.