Tuesday, December 4, 2012

The new emerging workplace bullying issue

Workplace Bullying

An August 2012 article by the Isosceles Group on Statistics on "Workplace Bullying, Harassment, Violence and Stress", reported that a poll conducted in the United States by Zogby International in 2010 indicated that over 34% of adults said they had been bullied at work. "One out of three employees in the United States feels he/she has been bullied on the job," according to the Department of Labor.

Further research, conducted by the Workplace Bullying Institute, shows that bullying can have negative mental and physical effects. Surprisingly, workplace bullying / harassment, is even more common than sexual harassment among the common types of psychosocial violence.

As a resource, the book The Essential Guide to Bullying: Prevention and Intervention offers the following useful suggestions which your organization could implement to create and maintain a safer work environment:

  1. Help others understand what bullying looks like among adults
  2. Establish a zero-tolerance policy
  3. Train staff members on appropriate ways to handle conflict and criticism
  4. Build self-confidence and capacity in employees
  5. Make sure you are not the bully

The items listed above are sound advice for your current staff, but did you know that you can reduce workplace bullying as part of the hiring process? Employment Integrity Testing can identify violent / hostile individuals before you hire them, thus reducing the potential for bullies in your workplace.

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