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Workplace bullying is a workplace safety issue

Bullying is a widespread problem whether in our schools or the workplace

Bullied people are suffering. Those bullied can experience feelings of helplessness, panic and anxiety. They can suffer with sleeplessness and loss of appetite. Over time, the stress associated with bullying can lead to more significant health impacts including lowered self-esteem, depression and cardiovascular illnesses.

The following guest blog by Holly Shaw (hollyshaw524@gmail.com) addresses these issues in an informative manner.

Bullying is usually verbal remarks or acts that could mentally upset or isolate a person at the workplace, which can also result in negative physical contact. On several occasions, bullying involves repeated incidents or a pattern of behavior that is meant to offend lower, intimidate, or humiliate a particular person or specific group of people (Houck & Colbert, 2017). The issue of bullying is a recurrent concern in the modern era, especially now that technological advancements are ruling every aspect of life. The modern workplace is no exception, as several issues entail bullying that cannot be looked down upon.

Adamant effects of bullying

People at the receiving end of bullying are at the risk of resulting in anxiety, stress, and depression, which, to the extreme, may lead to suicidal thoughts and drug abuse. The destructive effects of workplace bullying don’t stop at the victim but also permeate to those who witness the bullying. The victims may feel powerless and helpless and trapped. The victims have no option when they are being targeted since they do not belong to a protected class. Bullying

Impact of bullying at a workplace

In a workplace free from bullying, people will feel emotionally safe as well as physically safe. As a result of bullying, the victims and witnesses can be stressful to the extreme and can result in the physical expression of that stress (Strandmark et al. 2019). When a person is subjected to stress as a result of being bullied, their muscles tend to be tense headaches and backaches, which constitute a workplace health issue, which can lead to safety issues at the workplace.

The Transmissible nature of bullying

Bullying can be learned while at the same time; it can be taught to other people. Aggressive managers can forward their frustrations to their assistants, who, in return, will pass over the same to their juniors (Mikkelsen et al. 2020). This may advance to be the culture of the bullied person to shift their stress to those who report to them. On several occasions, the issue of brain shift across the organization equally triggers bullying in the organization.

Prevention of bullying at the workplace

There are many ways to counter bullying at the workplace, and many of them are applicable across the globe. The management should hold people accountable when bullying incidents occur in the workplace. The employees must heed to the code of ethics of the organization; hence, bullying should be treated contradicting breach of the code of ethics.

Enhancing accountable and robust management is equally a remedy that can work positively towards eradicating bullying at the workplace. The leaders must be ready to treat people with equality at the workplace, regardless of race or religious background. It is the role of the management to ensure the anti-bullying policies and incident reporting systems are put in place and adhered to the latter. The management may equally consider training the employees on positive traits and equality values amongst the employees. This will guarantee a secure and friendly workplace and high productivity in the long run.

References

Houck, N., & Colbert, A. M. (2017). An integrative review. Patient safety and workplace bullying. Journal of nursing care quality, 32(2), 164-171.

Mikkelsen, E, Hansen, Persson, R., Byrgesen, & Hogh, A. (2020). Individual consequences of being exposed to workplace bullying. In Bullying and Harassment in the workplace.: Developments, in theory, research, and practice. 3rd. Edition. CRC Press.

Strandmark, K, M., Rahm, G., Rystedt, I., Nordström, G., & Wilde‐Larsson, B. (2019). Managing bullying in Swedish workplace settings: A concealed and only partially acknowledged the problem. Journal of nursing management, 27(2), 339-346.

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Posted by Steven Mintz, aka Ethics Sage, on February 12, 2020. Dr. Mintz's Workplace Ethics Advice blog was recognized as one the top 30 in CSR by Market Inspector (https://www.market-inspector.co.uk/blog/2015/09/30-exceptional-csr-blogs). He recently published a book, Beyond Happiness and Meaning: Transforming Your Life Through Ethical Behavior, that is available on Amazon. You can sign up for his newsletter and learn more about his activities on his website: https://www.stevenmintzethics.com/. Follow him on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/StevenMintzEthics.

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