Monday, April 15, 2013

Bullying in the Workplace

Bullying in the Workplace

Sali Yakoub

Bullying has become one major concern in the United States. Bullying can occur in school, homes, and even in the workplace.  In order stop bullying, management law enforcement has created a policy that could possibly help with bullying in the workplace. Bullies tend to be jealous of others, which can lead to high inefficiency in an organization. According to Davis, a manager in the law enforcement, he recommends "including bullying as a prohibited behavior in workplace violence policies. He added that every applicant should be interviewed with an eye to observing how they interact with people."

The people that are most targeted to bullying are the ones who are considered subordinates. People who have a low ranking status, in other words, an inferior position in comparison to those in higher positions at an organization are usually less knowledgeable about the company. Randall implies that one-third of people in the workplace are possibly subjected to some form of bullying in their lifetime.Bullying can have negative effects on employees as well as organizational performance if it is not handled accordingly and in a timely manner.Bullying can be either verbal or non-verbal. An example of verbal bullyingis an exclusion of someone from a group. An example of non-verbal bullying includes avoiding a handshake or eye contact with another person (Khan, Anas, Khan, Riad, 2012).

Bullying can accrue from different types of pressure that workers go through in the workforce. Pressure can be caused by several factors. Some of these include meeting the target market profit through struggling economics times, the increase of work hours, and the manager's demand for high effectiveness on workers in terms of quality of production and high performance.Bullying tends to have negative side effects on the victim. Some of these effects could be mental, emotional, and or physical.

Many of the victims of bullying tend to always live in fear, which makes them unable to communicate with others at work. The victims tend to experience health problems some of these problems consist of anxiety and panic attacks, headaches, loss of appetite, and depression.  According to Khan, Anas, Khan, Riad "On many occasions, organizations attribute bullying to natural workplace behavior amongst competitive workers."

In addition to the health problems, bullying could also cause its victims to be stressed. The stress comes from not only being bullied, but also the victim thinking about when they will be bullied again, which causes them to live in fear, feeling unsafe and extremely insecure. Some factors that could lead someone to become abusive are readily accepting good position and perks while not accepting responsibility, failing to see the damage done to others, denying responsibility of bullying behavior, and incapable of behaving in any other way (Khan, Anas, Khan, Riad, 2012).
Ways of managing bullying in the Workplace

There are many ways for managers to prevent bullying from occurring in the workplace. Some of these ways according to Khan, Anas, Khan and Riad include:

 Education and training: It is always a terrific idea to educate workers about bullying in the workplace. All types of bullying such as aggression, violence, conflicts, and harassments should be incorporated in training programs to help offset bullying (Hannabuss, 1998). In addition to the training programs, corporations should be able to educate their employees about what is considered an appropriate behavior versus unacceptable behavior. According to Khan, Anas, Khan and Riad, respect, professionalism, communication and cooperation should be the central behavioral guidelines in the workplace.

Corporate Responsibilities: A corporation’s chief responsibility is hiring the perfect manager for the company. The perfect manager needs to be one who holds great leadership skills. Many corporations tend to hire candidates who have poor leadership skills, which can result in bullying. Managers with poor leaderships skills tend to believe they are a huge asset to the company and for that they have the authority to bully their coworkers in addition to achieving target goals. Several managers believe that "if you cannot stand the heat, get out of the kitchen" (Khan, Anas, Khan, Riad, 2012). Corporations should always keep an eye on their mangers and see if they have developed any bullying behaviors because by finding out at an early stage is a key step in preventing many future serious issues.

Having the Right Machinery: Many employees who have encountered bullying once in their lifetime do not know how to deal with such a situation. In order to help employees fight back bullying, an employee must be given the power as well as the proper training and in house mechanism to be taking effect to help deal with such a situation. There should be an effective handling process for complaints within the organization to ensure that victims of bullying have an effective machinery to address their grievance (Khan, Anas, Khan, Riad, 2012).

Support: The employers have a responsibility to ensure the safety of their employees. To do so, they need to set up a support system that helps employees who are being bullied. Employers should provide their staff with trained counselors to receive advice, in-house mediators, mentoring, and training employees to deal with relationship problems in effective ways (Khan, Anas, Khan, Riad, 2012). Another way the corporation can establish a support system is by giving employees the opportunity to do counseling, which would help in creating a healthy and happy work environment.
Drew and Paula came up with a list of "WHAT TO DO" if you have encountered bullying. These are the set of ideas that could be used to deal with bullying:
  • Keep a journal of the bullying instances in which dates and times are included.
  • Speak with other coworkers to find out if they are experiencing similar behavior.
  • Write a memo if you feel you cannot confront the bully. Keep copies of anything said or written referring to your inability to do your job.
  • Try to avoid being alone with the bully and try to get witnesses to incidents.
  • Check any new responsibilities you are given with a copy of your job description.
  • Consider speaking to your employer about the bullying and its effect on your ability to do your job.
  • Do not retaliate because it may look as if you are the aggressor.
  • Consider leaving the place of employment where the bullying occurs. Look at this decision as a positive move in your career.

Khan, Anas; Khan, Riad, . "Understanding and managing workplace bullying." Industrial and Commercial Training. 44.2 (2012): 85-89. Web. 15 Apr. 2013. <>.

Anonymous, . "Panel Addresses Legal, HR Perspectives on Workplace Bullying." HR Focus. 88.1 (2011): 5-6. Web. 15 Apr. 2013. <>.

Drew, Claudine Paula, . "Surviving bullying in the workplace." RDH. 4 (2013): 38,40,42,85. Web. 15 Apr. 2013. <>.


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  2. informative post! I really like and appreciate your work, thank you for sharing such a useful facts and information about bullying strategies, keep updating the blog, hear i prefer some more information about jobs for your career hr jobs in hyderabad .