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Readers Agree Bullying Affects Other Relationships

We recently asked our readers the question, "Do You Believe That Workplace Bullying Impacts Other Relationships?" This is what responders said:
  • Yes (90%)
  • No (0%)
  • Maybe (10%)

Commentary and Checklist

Bullying in the workplace is often more subtle than bullying among children. Although employees do not often complain or admit that they feel bullied at work, the impact may cause resounding effects in other areas of their lives.

The fact that a high percentage of our readers believe workplace bullying affects other relationships should give employers a reason to pay attention.

The stress of workplace bullying can take a toll on marriages and family life. In addition, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) recognizes job stress as an area of growing concern in occupational safety and health. Job stress can trigger various stress-related disorders including depression, anxiety, dissatisfaction, fatigue, tension, aggression, lack of concentration and memory problems.

Workplace bullying involves abuse or misuse of power. It creates feelings of defenselessness and injustice and undermines morale, productivity and health. Employers wishing to curtail bullying, and bullying-related stress, must create an atmosphere where bullying is not accepted and provide a means for employees to report bullying without fear of retaliation.

Here is what you can do as a manager to stop bullying:
  • Never abuse your power. If you bully your employees, you injure yourself, your employees and your employer.
  • Watch for bullying. Verbal mistreatment of employees in front of other employees or customers is a common form of bullying.
  • Look for the signs of bullying. A common sign of bullying is a higher turnover rate of employees who report to one manager than for those reporting to other managers.
  • If your position at your employer permits you to do so, confront bullies under your management. Specifically address what actions you believe are an abuse of power and why.
  • If you are not in a position to address bullying on your own or you feel uncomfortable doing so, you should make your human resource department aware of bullying as soon as possible.
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