What Is Conflict Bullying In the Workplace (Part 3)?

Posted By on November 5th

What is conflict bullying in the workplace, and what should the employer do?

bullying in the workplace

It is recommended that employers consider adopting a policy that encourages employees to report workplace bullying to human resources and conducting an investigation following such complaints. Besides being a good business policy, anti-bullying policies help promote a culture of civility.

According to a survey from the Society for Human Resource Management, 56 percent of companies have some form of anti-bullying policy that is commonly mentioned in an employee handbook or code of conduct. Responses to workplace bullying include firing, suspension or anger-management training. An anti-bullying policy, which might be added to a larger anti-harassment policy, should define bullying, provide examples of such behavior and communicate a reporting procedure.

But how do you define bullying?

The Healthy Workplace Campaign describes workplace bullying as repeated health-harming mistreatment that takes one or more of the following forms:

  • Verbal abuse.
  • Offensive behaviors that are threatening, humiliating or intimidating.
  • Work interference or sabotage that prevents work from getting done.

Employers say the vast majority of bullying incidents are verbal abuse, such as shouting, swearing and name-calling, along with malicious gossip, rumors and lies. Bullying through technology, such as Facebook or other social media, accounted for about 1 in 5 incidents, a survey found.

Examples of workplace bullying:

  • Falsely accusing someone of errors the person didn’t actually make.
  • Hostile staring or nonverbal intimidation.
  • Unjustly discounting the person’s thoughts or feelings in front of others.
  • Using the “silent treatment.”
  • Making up rules for specific people.
  • Disregarding and discrediting satisfactory work despite evidence.
  • Harshly and constantly criticizing the person.
  • Starting, or failing to stop, destructive rumors or gossip about the person.
  • Encouraging people to turn against the person being tormented.
  • Singling out and isolating one person from other co-workers, either socially or physically.
  • Publicly directing gross and undignified behavior at the victim.
  • Yelling, screaming or throwing tantrums in front of others to humiliate someone.
  • The withholding of resources (time, supplies, support, equipment) necessary for the targeted individual to succeed
  • Threats of job loss
  • Stealing credit

Are you or someone you know experiencing bullying in the workplace? Would you like to talk about it? Call me toll free at (877) 687-1392 or locally at (239) 210-7516. Your initial consultation is free!

About the author

Keith Grossman helps individuals and businesses negotiate and manage conflict more comfortably. Keith is a Collaborative Attorney, a Family and Circuit Civil mediator certified by the Supreme Court of Florida, an Arbitrator qualified by the Florida Supreme Court, and an educator. Keith frequently lectures and facilitates training programs, works with individuals one-on-one, and writes articles on conflict management and negotiation topics. His e-workbooks, “What Is A Peace Chest?” and “How Do You Build A Peace Chest?“ are now available on Kindle.

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