Employers

Why you care about workplace bullying

Bullying is fostered by your organization. Your organization’s culture, the management styles of your leaders and supervisors, and ineffective internal communication can foster bullies in your workplace.

Internal communication flow is disrupted and organizational goals cannot be met. Targets and witnesses of bullying avoid interactions with bullies as much as they can. Bullies use communication as a bullying tactic (e.g., withholding information needed) and are not great at interpersonal communication interactions either. That means targets and bullies are probably not communicating enough to do their jobs well.

Customer service is affected by workplace bullying. Targets of bullying, and bystanders (people who witness the bullying but don’t self-identify as targets) feel anxiety, discouragement and humiliation. That means sleepless nights, headaches, poor eating habits, and a wealth of health problems. If people are unhappy and unhealthy, they are not engaged in the excellent customer service your company no doubt desires. Not to mention one research study found that 11% of bullying is committed against customers.

Your company bottom line is affected by workplace bullying.Pioneering researcher Heinz Leymann estimated in his article, published in Violence and Victims in 1990, that a bully can cost a single business up to $100,000 per year per target in sick leave, reduction in work product, and time spent by management to intervene. Michael H. Harrison of Harrison Psychological Associates cited a study in the Orlando Business Journal that surveyed 9,000 federal employees. Of those surveyed, 57% reported they had been bullied over a two-year period, and the study estimated that these bullies had collectively cost their organizations more than $180 million. The American Psychological Association estimated that bullying and other types of abusive behaviors cost businesses $300 billion annually in lost productivity, absenteeism and turnover, as well as in increased medical costs.

 

costs_2.2192439_std

 

The business case for a healthy workplace

Organizations with healthy workplace cultures have employees that get along. When employees have healthy relationships with one another, they make better decisions, are more innovative, and learn more. That translates into employee engagement, and when you have engaged and loyal employees you have reduced turnover and absenteeism. Reduced turnover means better quality and quantity of work, and better customer service. Better work and happy customers means meeting organizational goals, and that means bottom line results!

Healthy_Workplace_Pyramid.2192726_std

Take action!

We have provided some resources below to help you do just that. These articles, worksheets and assessments will provide more information about bullying and help you make a business-case for ending bullying in your workplace.

Step 1: Sign up for our monthly e-newsletter in order to receive articles about creating a civil workplace.

Step 2: Read these selected articles on workplace bullying to gain some basic information about bullying and the damage it causes your organization:

Please feel free to browse our Resourcespage and the Civility Partners’ blog for many more articles and resources.

Step 3: Read our Whitepaper, The Cost of Bad Behavior in the Workplace

Step 4: Take our assessment, Does Your Organizational Culture Breed Incivility

Step 5: Read our Whitepaper, Seven Steps to a Healthy Workplace

Step 6: Download our Template Healthy Workplace Corporate Policy

Step 7: Purchase the book, BACK OFF! Your Kick-Ass Guide to Ending Bullying at Work. Although written for targets of workplace bullying, this book will provide a wealth of information about bullying, and Chapter 7 offers 18 ways bullies damage the organization. (You may need that information to make a business case for addressing bullying to decision-makers.)

Step 8: Contact Civility Partners for help. We offer training programs, tailored consulting, and communication skills coaching programs. Visitwww.CivilityPartners.com for more information.