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Workplace Bullying


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Defines bullying the workplace, discusses impact on individual, team and organization. Identifies specifi

Published in: Business, Career
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  • Doctor - This is an excellent subject overview and quite helpful. The issue of bullying is believed by the majority to be a schoolyard matter, left behind (as I like to say) with pimples and awkwardness.

    It is our view that tools the employee deems safe is essential to generate the employee feedback necessary to assist organizations deal with the matter. The positive aspect for organizations is the realization a silent internal bullying environment can be corrected and relates directly to employee retention.
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Workplace Bullying

  1. 1. WORKPLACEBullyingDr. Paul Marciano & Darlene Rasmussen NJOD Annual Sharing Day 2012
  2. 2. 1,000,000+ Google Results when searching for “Workplace Bullying”
  3. 3. What does bullying mean to you? (Share examples)
  4. 4. DefiningBullying
  5. 5. A persistent pattern of behaviors thatthreaten, intimidate, degrade, undermine,embarrass, or humiliate another and havean adverse impact on another’s emotional and psychological well-being.
  6. 6. Sample Behaviors• Yelling• Insulting remarks• Ignoring/Excluding• Inappropriate non-verbal behavior, e.g., staring, pointing• Spreading malicious rumors or gossip• Applying different policies, procedures, or standards
  7. 7. Sample Behaviors• Imposing unreasonable or inappropriate work demands• Unduly criticizing work performance• Making false accusations• Stealing credit for another’s work• Denying training & resources for success• Uninvited invasion of office space & scrutiny of e-mails• Interfering with others’ work
  8. 8. Bullying is defined differentlyin different workplace environments
  9. 9. THEBully
  10. 10. Bullies Bullies often… …don’t know they bully.
  11. 11. Bullies Behavior often based on prior role models
  12. 12. BulliesAnd lack of education about how to “motivate” employees anddeal with corrective action
  13. 13. Bullying is tolerated within theorganization al culture
  14. 14. Bullies arenegativelyreinforced for their behavior
  15. 15. Did youknow?
  16. 16. 35% of the US workforce has e experienced bullying firsthand
  17. 17. 15% of the US workforce has witnessed someone being bullied
  18. 18. 50% 75 million people have experiencedor witnessed bullying
  19. 19. 1 out of 3 womenhave been bullied
  20. 20. 29% of workers55 years of age or older have been bullied
  21. 21. 4xBullying is more prevalent than sexual harassment
  22. 22. bullied employees report… …more job stress, …less job commitment, …higher levels of anger …greater anxiety …than sexually harassed employees.
  23. 23. Why is workplace bullying more frequent and potentially damaging than sexual harassment?
  24. 24. THEVictim
  25. 25. “There is nothing (really) wrong.” “I can handle this.” “It will be okay – the bully was nice to me today.”Denial “The bullying will stop.”
  26. 26. “No one will believe me.” “I’ll be ostracized.” “I will behumiliated.” “The bullying will get worse.”Fear “I might get fired.”
  27. 27. Psychological-Emotional Consequences• Stress & Anxiety• Depression• Reduced Internal Locus of Control• Lower Self-Esteem & Self-Efficacy• Shame & Guilt• Helplessness• Anger & Aggression• Suicidal Behavior
  28. 28. Suicide
  29. 29. Bullying activates the sympathetic nervous system that releases hormones that interfere with functioning of prefrontal cortexwhich is responsible for executive functioning.
  30. 30. Physical Health• Headaches• Nausea• Chest Pain• Cardiovascular Disease• Immune System Problems• High Blood Pressure• Diabetes• Weight Gain/Loss• Fatigue
  31. 31. Surveys suggest bullying is responsible for30 to 50%of all stress related illnesses in the workplace.
  32. 32. Impact on Team Members (and witnesses)… …Shutdown in behavior …Social isolation …Align with the bully …Act aggressively toward targeted employee
  33. 33. WORKPLACEBullying
  34. 34. It is estimated that18 millionworking days per year arelost through the effects ofworkplace bullying in theUK alone.
  35. 35. Employeeswho are bullied spend over 50% of their time at work
  36. 36. defending themselves,networking for support, thinking about the situation, and being demotivated and stressed
  37. 37. Economic ImpactDecreased . . .• Productivity• Discretionary effort• Work quality• SafetyIncreased . . .• Turnover• Absenteeism• Disability claims
  38. 38. 18% of disability claims were based on psychological distressattributed to workplace bullying leading to…
  39. 39. an average of 159missed days of work
  40. 40. Bullying costs organizationsbillions of dollars a year in lost productivity, turnover, and litigation.
  41. 41. In 2001, jury awardedplaintiff $325,000 foremotional distress.In 2005, two employeesshared $1.4 millionsettlement against CUNY.
  42. 42. Bullying BanCanadian & European countriesare much further ahead when it comes to anti-bullying laws.
  43. 43. Protection from Harassment ActMajrowksi v Guy’s and St. Thomas’s NHS Trust (1996/2005) Britain’s highest court, the House of Lords,held that an employer is vicariously liable for one employees harassment of another
  44. 44. “Where we are now with workplacebullying is where we were with sexualharassment maybe 15 years ago beforewe had key court cases, before we had the major Anita Hill blow-up.” ~Suzy Fox, Loyola University
  45. 45. 21 states have introduced someversion of anti-bullying legislation called The Healthy Workplace Bill.
  46. 46. HealthyWorkplace Bill
  47. 47. What the HWB Does for Employers• Defines an “abusive work environment”• Sets a high standard for misconduct• Requires proof of health harm by licensed health or mental health professionals• Protects conscientious employers from vicarious liability risk when correction and prevention mechanisms are in effect• Gives employers the reason to terminate or sanction offenders
  48. 48. What the HWB Does for Employers• Gives employers the reason to terminate or sanction offenders• Requires plaintiffs to use private attorneys• Plugs the gaps in current state and federal civil rights protections• Provides an avenue for legal redress for health harming cruelty at work• Allows you to sue the bully as an individual• Seeks restoration of lost wages and benefits
  49. 49. What the HWB DOES NOT DO for Employers• Involve state agencies to enforce any provisions of the law• Incur costs for adopting states• Require plaintiffs to be members of protected status groups (it is “status-blind”)• Use the term “workplace bullying”
  50. 50. Status of bill in New Jersey LegislatureAwaiting committee hearing• Jan. 10, 2012 - Senator Greenstein introduced the Healthy Workplace Bill in the NJ Senate as S 333.• Established as “The Healthy Workplace Act,” S 333 was referred to the Senate Labor Committee.• Committee members and chairpersons are not yet named for the new 2012-13 legislative session.• Note: New Jersey’s 2-year legislative calendar runs from Jan. 2012 to Dec. 2013.
  51. 51. CYBER-Bullying
  52. 52. Bullying has entered the digital age.
  53. 53. In the past,bullying would have been whispered, shouted or passed around.
  54. 54. Now, with the Internet a bully can share a photo, video or conversation with hundreds, even millions…
  55. 55. …with the click of a button
  56. 56. CyberBullyingExamples• Malicious/threatening emails/text• Emails that feature offensive images, jokes, comments, etc.• Emails correcting an individual that are copied to a group
  57. 57. ORGANIZATIONAL Culture Determines what attitudes and behaviors are tolerated and even encouraged.
  58. 58. Bank of New York Mellon Corp. “Through our code of conduct, we outline a work environment that is free from discrimination, harassment, intimidation orbullying of any kind, as those types of behavior are inconsistent with our values.” ~Carl Melella, head of employee relations
  59. 59. A fundamental shift in culture has to happen in order to get companies to recognize that bullying is bad for business.
  60. 60. CASEStudy
  61. 61. BULLY-FREEWorkplace
  62. 62. 1) Respect: Antidote to Bullying Develop a clear statement of organization values including, most prominently, respect
  63. 63. 2) General Policy Establish and implement a zero-tolerance anti-bullying prevention policy
  64. 64. 3) Cyber Policy • Add a cyberbulling section to your company policy • Provide training for staff and management in dealing with cyberbulling • Give concrete examples of what constitutes cyberbullying • Emphasize that employees don’t write anything they wouldn’t say in person • Remind staff that anything posted on the internet is there forever • Consider blocking access to Social Networking sites at work
  65. 65. 4) Onboarding During onboarding, be clear about your company’s non-bullying culture and policies
  66. 66. 5) Training Add an anti-bullying component to existing discrimination and harassment training
  67. 67. 6) Educate Educate staff on how to identify the characteristics and behaviors of a bully
  68. 68. 7) Marketing Roll out an anti-bullying internal marketing campaign
  69. 69. 8) Leading Expect leaders to “walk the talk” and serve as positive role models
  70. 70. 9) Whistle blower Give employees a forum to speak freely and communicate a company-wide whistle blower policy
  71. 71. 10) Consequences Establish and communicate a clear disciplinary process
  72. 72. 11) Investigate Take grievances seriously and investigate them immediately
  73. 73. 12) Anonymous 360° Allows individuals to feel safe in reporting incidents and can help confirm behavior
  74. 74. What Can a Victim Do? • Admit that you are being bullied • Seek support from colleagues, friends and family members • Get professional help - legal representation and mental health professional • Keep a diary detailing the nature of the bullying and gather supporting evidence (paper trails, emails, voice mails, etc.) • Include a witness when meeting with a bully • Report aggressive behavior to HR • Follow policy and procedure but know when it’s time to move on
  75. 75. Sample Policy
  76. 76. Contact: Dr. Paul