Bullying Happens Everywhere
The presence of bullying reflects the nature of humans as they interact at work. It is no disgrace that it occurs in your organization. It would be rare if it did not. What matters most is what owners, executives, and boards do when it is brought to their attention. They can choose to either sustain or stop it.
Dr. Namie on Marketplace Radio
Workplace Bullying Defined
Workplace Bullying is repeated, health-harming mistreatment of one or more persons (the targets) by one or more perpetrators that takes one or more of the following forms:• Verbal abuse;
• Conduct which is threatening, humiliating or intimidating;
• Work interference, sabotage, which prevents work from getting done;
• Exploitation of a known psychological or physical vulnerability.
What Bullying is Not ...
It is not incivility, simple rudeness, or the routine exercise of acceptable managerial prerogative. When abuse becomes routine, the work environment is toxic. Quality work and employee engagement are impossible. Neither is bullying conflict between two equally-powered individuals who simply disagree over intellectual ideas. Therefore, conflict resolution tools are a waste of time. Wrong solution for the improperly defined problem. Bullying is VIOLENCE and not subject to mediation.
Bullies Are Too Expensive To Keep
Employers are reluctant to confront hyperaggressive managers and staff. They fear lawsuits and difficulty replacing the jerks considered "indispensable." The truth is that it is costlier to fail to act than it is to pursue solutions. Bullies are undermining legitimate business processes and harming people in secret. It's time to examine the real costs of unwanted turnover, absenteeism, lawsuit or complaint settlements, workers comp and disability claims. The bully is expensive. Current losses warrant greater weight than imagined future worst-case scenarios.
Prevalence of Workplace Bullying in the U.S.
According to the Workplace Bullying Institute's national scientific surveys (in 2007 and 2010), 35% of the adult Americans (an estimated 54 million workers) report being bullied at work; an additional 15% witness it and vicariously are made miserable.
It is a problem of undeniable epidemic proportions. Simultaneously, 50% report neither experiencing nor witnessing bullying. Hence, the problem remains largely an "undiscussable," silent epidemic. Download a flyer illustrating the surveys' results.
To discover over 150 research articles on the topic, visit this site.
Dealing With Dominating Personalities
A toxic work environment can bring out the worst in most employees. However, chronically abusive individuals present employers with special challenges. We have a way to deal with them. The service is called the Respectful Conduct Clinic. It can be part of our comprehensive Blueprint system or purchased separately just to deal with the destructive individual.
It's the Work Environment
A better predictor of bullying-prone workplaces is a culture led by either autocratic or laissez-faire leaders. The work environment, the culture or climate, fosters destructive interpersonal competition. Then, when negative conduct is either explicitly rewarded with promotions or implicitly by treating complaints with indifference, bullying is reinforced and becomes a defining characteristic of that workplace. It is systemic. Dealing with individual offenders on a case-by-case is playing whack-a-mole! It takes a systemic, impersonal solution for systemic dysfunction. We call our program the Work Doctor Blueprint to Prevent Workplace Bullying.