A few weeks before the opening of the schools, there was much conversation about bullying in our schools and it created great awareness for parents and their children. But what about workplace bullying?
BEING bullied as an adult is one of the hardest things to deal with. This treatment tends to create self-blame; doubt – you come to believe that you’re thoroughly incompetent, when you were once an award winning worker with the certifications to prove it; erosion of one’s self-esteem and confidence. It’s a disassembly of one’s adult personality and it’s harmful.
Workplace Bullying Defined
It 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 staff 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. Employers need to examine the real costs of unwanted turnover, absenteeism, and complaint settlements. The bully is expensive.
So how should people deal with bullying? What’s the best way of doing it?
Clearly they need to take action, but this can prove to be difficult, so here’s a three step model which can be the road to positive, good mental health and you have a seven out of ten chance of losing the job you once loved, so you’re already at risk. You suffer no more risk to follow these steps.
Step one: you’ve got to come out of hiding – you’ve got to name bullying. If you claim illegal harassment or discrimination, you should be able to go to Human Resources and say, “I want to claim that I’m being harassed.” The employer must take it into account and must investigate.
But if you go down and you say you’re bullied and there’s no policy against bullying, some employers will tell you, “You know, it’s a shame what has happened to you, but we don’t have a policy against it and, sorry, there’s nothing we can really do.” That delegitimizes the person. They feel that they’re worthless because of something that’s happened to them. So, as soon as people name it, they suddenly know what to call what happened to them; when they can name the phenomenon, they can point the finger to a wrongdoer and say, “That person is the source of the problem; I’m not.” That’s the first step toward mental health. The journey towards resolution is naming it. However, it takes people a long time to get there because of their work ethic and their unwillingness to complain and come forward; they stay silent to long, but step one is to name it. They need to know they’re not alone; they need to know they didn’t cause it.
to be continued…..
Sunday Guardian – Sun 22, 2013