Posts Tagged ‘workplace bullying’


Dr. Namie on Labor Pains Podcast

Saturday, September 13th, 2014

Listen to Dr. Gary Namie be interviewed by Larry Buhl on the Labor Pains Podcast. The program covers workplace issues of today and tomorrow. Here Gary and Larry talk about workplace bullying and the NFL.

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IDG Connect – Bullied at Work: What Can You Do?

Thursday, September 11th, 2014

By Kathryn Cave – IDG Connect – 9/9/14

Our recent research revealed the sheer scale of bullying in IT workplaces. This showed that 75% of professionals we surveyed claimed to have been bullied at work, while 85% had seen others bullied. However, for me, the most serious part of it all was the sheer intensity of the first-person accounts.

We reviewed over 400-in-depth testimonials and these made for pretty harrowing reading. Quite aside from the steady grind of debilitating misery, 22% described the experience as 10/10 “virtually unbearable” and a number specifically mentioned suicide.

The trouble is there is no legislation to target this problem and many professionals simply can’t believe this is happening to them at work. This situation is worsened further by the fact the majority of bullies (76% by our findings) are in a senior position to their victim – this leaves many people absolutely terrified to make a fuss or appear a troublemaker.

So what can professionals realistically do about it? We’ve consulted two experts, one from each side of the Atlantic, to gain their viewpoints. We’ve included both sets of answers below.

US Perspective

Q&A with leading expert, Dr Namie, of the Workplace Bullying Institute

What practical steps can employees who feel they’re being bullied take?

It is critical for people who suffered emotional damage to strip out emotionality from their pleas for relief. Best to make the business case that bullies are too expensive to keep. It is impersonal and not emotionally charged. Sticking to facts allows the bullied target to make a presentation to the highest level manager or executive who agrees to listen to them.

Do you have any other particular advice for people who think they are being bullied?

Because bullying happens long before it is recognized, it’s important to pay attention to changes in your personal mood and wellbeing. If your health is adversely affected, trust your gut and connect the dots to see that toxic work conditions may be responsible. The sooner you make the causal link the healthier you will be.

Is there anything unique to the US which professionals ought to know about?

Employment law in the US provides the weakest protections for workers among the OECD nations. For this reason American employers not only treat bullying with indifference, they can encourage it with impunity.

Is there anything else you would like to share which might help individuals across the globe counteract this?

A lesson from our 17 year campaign against workplace bullying is that supporters and critics alike must see bullying as a form of non-physical workplace violence. Because it generates trauma in the most severe cases, it is a form of abuse akin to child-abuse and domestic violence. Therefore abusive conduct at work deserves the same societal and legal attention that other forms of abuse have earned.

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Entrepreneur: Bosses Who Pick on One Employee Ruin Everyone’s Productivity, Study Shows

Saturday, September 6th, 2014

By Laura Entis – Entrepreneur – Sep. 4, 2014

You shouldn’t call people names. You shouldn’t yell, or belittle others. These are lessons we’re supposed to learn as children, but unfortunately, such behaviors persist long after we’ve left the playground: Workplace bullying is sadly commonplace.

It doesn’t just take place among coworkers. A common tick of the Bad Boss is to select an office scapegoat on whom he or she can dump any built up frustration/anger/aggression at whim.

It makes sense that direct targets of their bosses’ abuse would experience a decrease in productivity; if your boss is frequently yelling at you, your work will likely suffer.

But a new study from a team of researchers at Michigan State University found that when a boss frequently bullies one employee, the entire team’s productivity decreases. The study involved looking at verbal abuse and demeaning emails in a controlled lab setting.

“That’s the most disturbing finding,” lead investigator Crystal Farh said in a press release, “because it’s not just about individual victims now, it’s about creating a context where everybody suffers, regardless of whether you were individually abused or not.”

According to her research, while targeted individuals contributed less (as one would expect), their team members “descended into conflicts” and also, on average, were less productive.

Farh’s main takeaway? In the wake of any situation where a boss is bullying an underling, everyone on the team – not just that employee – will need help repairing interpersonal relationships and rebuilding trust. In other words, bullying bosses are truly toxic because their bad behavior spreads, infecting the entire office.

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Officevibe: Workplace Bullying is a Huge Problem

Saturday, August 30th, 2014

By Jacob Shriar – Officevibe – August 27, 2014

Workplace bullying is a serious issue.

It’s an issue that I don’t think gets enough attention, considering how big of a problem it is.

I was really shocked and surprised when I learned at how often bullying in the workplace takes place.

A recent survey by the Workplace Bullying Institute shed some important light on this issue.

Let’s look at some of the more interesting numbers from the survey:

These numbers are incredible.

The 2 numbers that really stick out at me, are the fact that 56% of the time, it comes from a manager or senior leader, and that most employers deny or discount (25% and 16% respectively).

This is why I’m such a big fan of having a flat hierarchy. It’s been proven many times that power corrupts, and so it doesn’t surprise me that most of the bullying comes from someone in a higher position of power than you.

For the employer to hide or discount it as not being serious is so stupid. It’s incredibly serious, because it has a major effect on your company culture.

According to a study from the Sauder School of Business at UBC, workers who witness bullying have a stronger urge to quit than those who experience it firsthand.

A lot of people don’t stop to think about this. The bullying doesn’t only affect the person that was bullied. It has a terrible effect on morale. And as the study showed, just witnessing workplace bullying gets people to want to quit.

This is what happened to me personally at a company I used to work for.

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Kaplan: Nearly Half of Recent Nursing School Graduates Are Concerned About Being Bullied at Work

Friday, August 29th, 2014

Business Wire – August 28, 2014 – Kaplan Survey

For those entering the workforce, typical top-of-mind issues include opportunities for growth, benefits, and job security — but nearly half of those entering the nursing profession voice another concern: being bullied by colleagues. According to a just-released Kaplan survey of over 2,000 nursing school graduates from the class of 2014, 48% say they are concerned about being the victims of workplace bullying or working in a hostile working environment.* The survey also found that 39% personally knew nurses who were victims of workplace bullying or a hostile working environment.

One widely cited study found that approximately 60% of nurses left their first nursing job within six months because of bullying issues or because of a hostile work environment.** And studies conducted over the past decade show there’s a financial cost to this for medical providers, ranging from $22,000 to over $64,400 per turnover. (http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/569393_2).

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Real Business: Are You a Workplace Bully?

Friday, August 29th, 2014

Real Business – Aug 25, 2014

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Forbes: Can Boomers Stop The Bullying At Work?

Wednesday, August 27th, 2014

By Nancy Collamer, Forbes, August 25, 2014

If you saw a young child being pushed around on the playground, chances are you would intervene. But are you equally proactive when you see bullying at work?

While this may sound like a hypothetical question, it’s anything but. According to a 2014 survey conducted by the Workplace Bullying Institute (WBI), 27% of Americans have been bullied at work, 21% have witnessed it and 72% of us are aware that workplace bullying happens.

Real bullying involves more than just bad management and obnoxious behavior.

How Bullying Can Harm A Victim’s Health

It also means health-harming behaviors that can include verbal abuse, offensive conduct and intentional sabotage. And workplace bullying doesn’t just harm the victim. It leads to poor morale, high turnover and low productivity, which impact the entire organization.

The problem is now so widespread that lawmakers in 15 states have introduced legislation aimed at prodding employers to take the matter seriously or face consequences.

Why Boomers Can Be Effective

So what are you willing to do about it? I ask because many boomers are in management and as a result, some are in a good position to take action. Even if you’re not among your employer’s leadership team, you still might be able to make a difference.

If you’re well respected by colleagues, have good relations with key influencers at your employer or have strong job security, it’s likely easier for you to speak up and get management to take bullying seriously than it is for your younger co-workers.

That is an important advantage. Just like on the playground where bigger kids target weaker ones, the majority of workplace bullying is inflicted from the top down. According to the WBI survey, 56% of it is attributed to bosses, compared to 33% that’s blamed on peers. Given this inherent power imbalance, it’s no surprise that few victims stand up to their abusers.

I want to emphasize that not every boomer is in a position to stand up to workplace bullies.

Many older workers are in precarious job situations and know that if they speak up, they could be fired. That’s especially true in environments where bully behavior is a celebrated part of the workplace culture. (Wolves of Wall Street anyone?)

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Posted in Media About Bullying, Print: News, Blogs, Magazines, Tutorials About Bullying, WBI Education, WBI in the News | No Archived Comments | Post A Comment () »



ABA: Understanding the anti-bullying Healthy Workplace Bill

Wednesday, August 20th, 2014

Understanding Workplace-Bullying Legislation
By Randi Melnick
American Bar Association, August 13, 2014

Labor-and-employment attorneys hear countless tales of abuse suffered by employees in the workplace. Employees subjected to mean-spirited or degrading treatment can often feel helpless, or even if they are proactive and make a complaint to human resources, they may simply be told to toughen up, or find a new job. With the realities of today’s increasingly stressful and competitive workplace, it is worth a moment of reflection to consider what level of civility should be expected in the workplace, and what the consequences should be, if any, for those who break such codes of conduct.

Workplaces can have tricky cultural norms, and some people will be more skilled than others at communicating. However, there is a difference between a manager or coworker who lacks tact and one who goes out of his or her way to purposefully target an individual. When one is verbally abused or intimidated, when work is sabotaged, or when humiliation is used as a tactic, that is bullying. And it is not always illegal in the United States.

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Posted in Healthy Workplace Bill (U.S. campaign), Media About Bullying, Print: News, Blogs, Magazines, WBI in the News, Workplace Bullying Laws | No Archived Comments | Post A Comment () »



Let’s Talk with Kalola: Worker is Exploring Taking Legal Action Against Her Employer

Wednesday, August 20th, 2014

Dear Kalola,

I was bullied by my boss, and when I reported his insidious acts to Human Resources, he retaliated and placed me on a performance improvement plan and escalated his bullying towards me. When I complained to Human resources about the irregularity of the plan, and the fact that the bullying acts had only accelerated, I was advised to comply or lose my job.

My performance improvement plan was to last for three months, during which time my boss isolated me, excluded me from team meetings, stripped me of critical roles and took every opportunity he could get to humiliate me and call me names. At some point it was so depressing to go to work. Going to work was just to face more and more humiliation and isolation, and I developed body pains especially lower back and shoulder. The pains would never subside even when I was on the strongest of pain killers.

One day I felt I could not bear the thought of going to work. I called in sick and even sought medical attention. X-rays were carried out but the doctors could not find anything wrong and only prescribed pain killers. I decided to take time to clear my mind and assess whether I should quit my job. Surprisingly when I returned to work, my boss demanded that I produce my medical records for the day I was sick. Even though I knew that this was a violation of my privacy I handed him copies. Absurdly he accused me of falsifying the medical records and had disciplinary charges preferred against me. During the hearing he stated that he had gained access to my call records which to him proved that there was no way I could have been sick or sought medical help because according to him I was “roaming the town” based on my call records. Inwardly I was reeling from the fact that he had illegally obtained my call records, invaded my privacy, and had the audacity to discredit my defence and explanation. He demanded that the panel find me guilty. I got a warning letter and from that day he demanded that I no longer attend any divisional meeting. exactly one month later he asked Human resources to have me dismissed for failing to pass the improvement plan. I was dismissed and advised that I could exercise my right to appeal. I appealed against the dismissal. The appeal was never heard, and my dismissal was confirmed a month later.

On the whole the battle against a work place bully is an ugly one. They are usually in privileged positions of power which they abuse. A law suit against the company is the only option I have now. I am actively pursuing that right now.

Anita


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WBI’s Frank Mulcahy presents to TX Chamber of Commerce

Tuesday, August 19th, 2014

Deer Park Chamber Hears Presentation on Workforce Bullying

By Erica Drexler, Deer Park (TX) Broadcaster, August 18, 2014

Frank Mulcahy discussed the issue of workforce bullying within organizations and the school system to the Deer Park Chamber of Commerce luncheon last week.

Mulcahy was the featured speaker at the luncheon and is a Business Development Director for the Workplace Bullying Institute (WBI).

“Frank speaks to groups across America about the true costs of workplace bullying, he works with hospitals, schools and businesses on developing a culture on sincerity … when you hear the words bullying, you automatically think of the schoolyard and things that take place there, bullying in the schoolyard is something that’s still there,” said Tim Culp, President and CEO at Deer Park Chamber of Commerce.

Mulcahy has won awards for his talents as a sales professional, entrepreneur and a master presenter.

“So you know that when somebody comes to you with discrimination or harassment, we got ‘Title 7,’ we can protect against that, but bullying falls into a different category where there’s no protection, and as Tim said, it is in classrooms, I did go to Clemson to get certified so I could work with my school districts to help them to stop the bullying in classrooms and it was there that I recognized workplace bullying,” Mulcahy said.

He said that 35 percent of teachers admitted to bullying a student in a survey and 27 percent of individuals have dealt with bullying at their jobs.

“So it estimates that one out of four people are currently going through or have been bullied and the business is the one who paid the price, because 77 percent of the time the target, not the perpetrator, but the target ends up moving on to another position, so the business has to lose their best and their brightest people, because the best and the brightest are the ones that are targeted, everybody recognized bullying in the classroom, everybody, because we know that the kids are tyrants you know, but what we stop to realize as they grow up and unless you stop them from being bullies as children, they then come to the workplace with us with this new practiced set of skills and that’s when they become workplace (bullies), the bullying to me has been a source of my want to give back to the businesses,” Mulcahy said. “I feel personal about this, you know it’s my calling or my mission … because you know it gets a certain point in your life that you want to give back and the Lord’s been good to me.”

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