Working Toward Workplace Bullying Prevention

Category: Articles
Posted: 08-22-2012 03:05 AM
Views: 967
Synopsis:

The topic of bullying in school has been widely reported upon in the recent past and a string of tragic events have led to an increased level of awareness on the part of the public as to the effects that bullying can have on the victim who is the target.

While the focus has been on how bullying can be recognized and eliminated amongst school children, the topic of workplace bullying is equally as prevalent and is something that adults often deal with in their daily work lives as well.

The topic of bullying in school has been widely reported upon in the recent past and a string of tragic events have led to an increased level of awareness on the part of the public as to the effects that bullying can have on the victim who is the target.

While the focus has been on how bullying can be recognized and eliminated amongst school children, the topic of workplace bullying is equally as prevalent and is something that adults often deal with in their daily work lives as well.

The labeling of abusive and cruel behaviors as bullying at work puts them in a different light. We all know how young children have been harassed and bullied to the point of self harm or worse, but have you ever stopped to consider that adults are also victims of this kind of abuse and it happens to them each day when they are at work?

The topic of workplace bullying prevention needs to be one that is brought to the forefront and given the attention it deserves in order to raise awareness of this often insidious issue.

Many familiar workplace behaviors would fall into the category of workplace bullying. Some of the most commonly seen examples include things like spreading malicious gossip or rumors about someone which are not true, socially shunning someone and causing them to become isolated, belittling or humiliating someone for their opinions, using profanity and/or intimidation against someone and the spreading of emails that include deliberately offensive jokes.

These are just some examples of how an individual may feel bullied while they are at work, any situation where someone is made to feel "less than" everyone else or any situations that involve intimidation by coworkers or management can be considered as workplace bullying.

How can bullying of adults by adults be prevented? The onus falls on the management to set forth a policy of zero tolerance for any behaviors that can be considered bullying. A strong human resources element that encourages employees to come and talk to an HR representative confidentially or to submit reports of bullying behavior anonymously can also be of value.

In some extreme cases, there may also be value in bringing in an outside consultant to give a presentation that helps sensitize the employees to the problem and educates them about prevention.
 
Charlie Bentson Kind is a writer and VP of Development for TrainingABC - a distributor of corporate training videos including workplace bullying prevention videos.

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