It’s a ‘Warzone’ Office for Office Bullies

According to the article ‘Office Bullies Create Workplace ‘Warzone”, the victims of workplace bullying uses the word ‘warzone’ as a metaphor of what was happening to them in their workplaces.  They described their experiences as a battle, water torture, a nightmare or a noxious substance.   These metaphor description comes out from the interview of 17 women and 10 men employees ranging from 26 to 72 years of age.

The respondents characterized workplace bullying in many other metaphors, here are some: “I have been maimed… I’ve been character assassinated.” Their feelings is expressed as “beaten, abused, ripped, broken, scared and eviscerated“.  One employee explained, “I feel like I have ‘kick me’ tattooed on my forehead.”

An office might look professional to anybody’s perspective but it is not excluded from the fact that bullies can also be found in here.  Only professional looking.  They vary from screaming boss to silent treatment colleagues.  They do whatever want, whenever they can.  The act of workplace bullying is includes screaming, spreading gossips, destroying reputation, excessive criticism and sometimes physical abusive is also being experienced.  That is just the non-subtle behavior description.  Bullying can also be on a subtle attack, these are the silent treatment and excluding you from meetings and other office gatherings.

Bully proofing the workplace is shortly explained in the article.  Read the full article at link.

How to Stop Workplace Bullying: Some Tips for Employers

We’ve been hearing a lot of reports on how workplace bullying has become a common occurrence in organizations.  Several studies and research also showed that the number of cases or victims of work place bullies is rising.  According to Sandi Verrecchia, President and CEO of Satori Consulting, workplace bullying is happening more frequently than it should.  Now, this actually sounds scary.  Such scenarios suggest unhealthy working environments and negative organization cultures.

Unfortunately, one of the downsides in having bullies at the work place, is that these individuals can chase away the company’s good employees.  Data from a book, “The Bully At Work,” showed that 40 percent of victims of workplace bullying decided to leave their job in order to avoid the abuse and negative working environment.  Surprisingly, 24 percent of the victims were fired by the organization. On the other hand, only 24 percent of these work place bullies were punished.

So what should employers do in order to stop workplace bullying?  Satori Consulting’s Verrecchia shared a few tips on how to address the issue.  Note that these tips may sound simple, but it may pose a challenge for some organizations, since it’s not only about adopting zero tolerance policies and workplace bullying prevention programs.  One key factor is being transparent and implementing a culture change that needs to come from the top, and not a bottom-up approach.

To learn more about the ways on how to combat workplace bullies, click here.

Victims of Workplace Bullying More Likely to Contemplate Suicide

Suicide is such a strong and scary word.  Who would have thought that an unhealthy working environment would push an employee so much that he or she would contemplate doing this?  According a Norwegian study, victims of workplace bullying, or those exposed to such hostile working environments, have a higher risk of thinking suicidal thoughts.

Morten Birkeland Nielsen, professor at the National Institute of Occupational Health and the University of Bergen, as well as lead author of the research paper, said that the study was evidence that workplace environments has an impact on a person’s mental health.

The study, which ran from 2005 until 2010, followed a sample of 1,850 people all throughout the five year period.  One of the findings of the research indicated that less than 5 percent of the participants reported thoughts of suicide during the period, however, they were twice as likely to do so after becoming victims of work place bullies.

Another highlight of the research showed that the perception of being bullied at work is actually a precursor of suicidal thoughts and not a consequence, according to Professor Nielsen.

To other people, this situation may seem too extreme.  However, for a bullied employee to contemplate taking his or her own life means that the workplace abuse has been going on for some time.  Although, for some victims of workplace bullying, the period of abuse may not matter.  It is the gravity of the act, or that feeling of helplessness that they can’t stop the situation, that may push a victim to think about suicide as an alternative to end the bullying.

Experts are now calling on organizations and businesses to take a closer and harder look at the issue of workplace bullying.  Learning to spot it, implementing anti-bullying programs and cultivating a positive working environment will help to protect the employees, and ultimately create a more productive organization.

To learn more about the details of the study, click here.