Workplace Bullying: Why It Needs to Be Addressed
For one, the office is considered to be someone’s second home. However, when this place becomes a “home” of verbal abuse and offensive non-verbal behavior brought about by fellow employees, then the company’s success is threatened by workplace bullying. Although this term encompasses a large array of circumstances, it is simply the biggest factor for every affected employee’s productivity.
It is said that no matter how high paying the job is, employees who are unhappy of their colleagues will jump right off the boat without second thoughts. Workplace bullying has become a social problem in fact, in an online survey in 2012 by JobsCentral, about 24% of Singaporean employees perceived themselves as victims of this while its nearby country, Malaysia, have problems in recognizing the parameters of getting bullied which, in turn, make companies unaware of the anti-bullying programs they should be implementing.
This throbbing issue should be addressed from all levels of the organization in order to keep a healthy working environment but before that, it is important to carefully understand why this isn’t a thing to be ignored and overlooked:
- It negatively affects employee engagement
Research suggests, in general, that an uncomfortable or hostile work environment make employees less engaged (in any way), less productive and worse, less likely to stay. In turn, professional relationships are inevitably affected by means of poor treatment towards their coworkers (offenders) and after some time of being bashed, they might also turn out to be doing the same according to psychologist, Dr. Mantell.
- It can lead to health-related problems of employees
Employees who feel disrespected and stressed by the thought of it, tend to skip work for health reasons such as headache, stomach pain or somatic symptoms. It can also lead to depressive and burn out symptoms not only to the one being bullied but also to someone who witness it. This can create a bigger problem especially if the employee has no close friends at work that he/she can seek support to. According to research, a support from supervisor such as offering light work load or inviting a stress management program can make a great help.
- It can result to high turn-over rate
High attrition rate is not only inconvenient in terms of looking for an equally competent employee but it would also slow down the operations of the department. Training a new employee usually take some extensive amount of time while you allow room for errors along the process, too. After all, losing a human asset is not worth the ignorance of workplace bullying.