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Consequences of Workplace Bullying

Consequences of Workplace Bullying

How can bullying affect the workplace?

Workplace bullying may cause extensive health problems for employees exposed to this hazard, including physical and psychological illnesses and injuries. It can impact on co-workers, clients, customers, business associates, family and friends. Bullying affects the overall “health” of an organization.

The costs to the organizations include reduced efficiency, unsafe work environment, increased absenteeism, poor morale, increased workers compensation claims and civil action. An “unhealthy” workplace can have many effects. The reaction of individual employees will vary according to the nature of the bullying. It is possible that employees who are bullied may experience some of the following effects:

  • Decreased morale
  • Decreased productivity and motivation
  • Incapacity to work, concentration problems, loss of self-confidence and self-esteem or reduced output and performance
  • Depression or a sense of isolation
  • Increased absenteeism
  • Increased costs for employee assistance programs (EAPs), recruitment, etc.
  • Increased stress
  • Increased turnover
  • Increased risk for accidents / incidents
  • Panic attacks or impaired ability to make decisions
  • Physical injury
  • Poorer customer service
  • Reduced corporate image and customer confidence
  • Reduced quality of home and family life
  • Stress, anxiety or sleep disturbance
  • Suicide
  • A positive and civil place to work reaps the following types of benefits
  • Attract better talent
  • Develop a culture that values internal relationships and invests in employee individual success
  • Gain market share and earn higher revenue than competitors
  • Increase employee retention and reduce turnover
  • Increase the quality and quantity of work product
  • Improve communication among staff and managers
  • Improve health of employees and your organization
  • Look forward to coming to work and know your staff is looking forward to coming to work
  • Minimize workplace politics
  • Motivate, inspire and develop engaged employees
  • Obtain better performance results than an employee evaluation or disciplinary procedure Protect your company’s reputation and even obtain positive press about your workplace practices
  • Prove you are dedicated to providing a safe and healthy work environment for your
  • employees
  • Reduce absenteeism and medical leaves
  • Reduce workers comp claims and minimize litigation
  • Reduce workplace stress
  • Stop wasting time on employees who are dragging down the rest

Just because bullying isn’t obvious in your workplace doesn’t mean it isn’t happening. Workplace bullying is often subtle. The following suggestions can help you identify bullying behaviour:

  • Analyze absenteeism, productivity, turnover, stress-related leaves and early retirement—does a pattern emerge that suggests problems in a specific area?
  • Conduct confidential exit interviews and employee opinion surveys that ask direct questions about bullying. Watch for signs of discontent or lack of motivation. Pay attention to similar information coming from several sources, including employees, clients, colleagues, etc.
  • Look at your organization’s culture, structure and management style. Strong hierarchical structures and intense business demands can foster bullying.

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