Bullying is Expensive

Workplace bullying is extremely expensive for employers. There is lost productivity of the bullying victim. Once the victim leaves, the company has to spend time and money finding a replacement. Then there is a cost because it takes a while before the new employee learns the ropes and becomes productive. But the largest cost is the loss of engagement that affects everyone.

An engaged and enthusiastic employee is more than twice as productive as a disengaged one. When people witness bullying happen to others, and they see no intervention from the company, they become disengaged. If the company is not protecting your colleague from bullying, do they really care about you? That’s why allowing just one bully drags the whole department down. And that’s why it is good business and should be a leadership priority to root out bullying.

Speak Up Against Bullying

Ireland has taken step forward in the fight against workplace bullying with their new “Code of Practice for Employers and Employees on the Prevention and Resolution of Bullying at Work.” Having an official definition of what constitutes bullying can be helpful. It means that a company HR department that receives a complaint has something to compare the reported behavior to.

Rules are one part of the fight against bullying, but the most important part is yours. If you are subject of bullying, you need to report it. If you witness bullying and don’t want to step into the situation, you also need to report it. When we all speak up against bullying, the bully faces consequences and bullying decreases.

Workplace Bulling

Working from home has decreased bullying by bosses and co-workers. Workplace bullying often happens in informal conversations, and there are simply fewer of these when working from home. If you find that you are actually happier and less stressed when working from home, that can be an indicator that you were having negative workplace interactions you might not even consciously notice.

Keep a log of how you feel (for example in a journal, as I discussed yesterday). Start now when you are working from home, and continue it once you get back to the office. If you find that you feel worse back in the office, start paying attention to the tone of your interactions at work. There might be subtle bullying happening that you don’t notice.