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March 11, 2013

From the Playground to the Workplace – Bullying

Filed under: General HR Buzz6:00 am

Maybe you thought it was just an oversight that you weren’t included in the lunch outing by others in your department.   Then you later learn that one of your coworkers used the lunch outing as an opportunity to criticize you about everything from the clothes you wear to your work habits.   And later in the week, this same coworker takes credit at a staff meeting for a project you recently completed (knowing you don’t have the courage to speak up disputing his statement).

Sound familiar?  If so, you may be the subject of workplace bullying which has happened to 35% of workers according to a CareerBuilder survey.  On-the-job bullying can take many forms, from relentless teasing by a coworker, a supervisor’s verbal abuse, or gossiping in the workplace.  Bullying may be on the way of becoming the next major battleground in employment law as many states are considering legislation regarding anti-bullying.

Not only does bullying affect employee morale and productivity, it has been found to have a strong link to mental and physical health-related problems.  And who are the bullies?  Many incidents are pointed to bosses (48%) and coworkers (45%) according to the CareerBuilder survey.

This month, we are going to be discussing bullying in our blogs, whitepaper, and monthly newsletter.  As an insight, following are some of the areas we will touch on:

  • How do you know if it is bullying?
  • What should you do about it?
  • Should you have an anti-bullying policy?  Is that enough?
  • How do you communicate and institute an anti-bullying culture?

If you have had experiences of bullying in the workplace, we’d like to hear about how you handled them.   Unfortunately, the tormenting that used to occur on the playground is now also occurring in the office.  We’ll discuss what we can do about it to make our workplaces safe and gratifying.




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