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While the results of a Europe-wide survey found that Ireland is the 7th worst country in Europe when it comes to workplace bullying.
Bullying is not just limited to the playground. Almost a quarter of UK workers have been bullied at work. This is a major cause of stress and anxiety, and if bullying is tolerated—or hidden—then this can contribute towards a negative workplace culture.
Spotting the signs of bullying in the workplace can be difficult. Both the bully and victim may be good at hiding their respective roles, or in some cases, they might not even realise they’re playing these roles. The bully might excuse their actions as a joke or workplace “banter”, while the victim might convince themselves that they’re being over-sensitive.
Workplace bullying can appear at work in a variety of ways, including physical or emotional abuse. Bullying behaviour can include berating a colleague, taking credit for other people’s work, excluding others (ostracism), threatening others and dictating unfair criticism.
Workplace bullying can have a severe impact on employee wellbeing which in turn, can have a negative effect on the performance of an organisation. Mental health problems in the UK workforce cost employers almost £35 billion last year, according to research published by Centre for Mental Health. While in Ireland, reports suggest that mental health issues cost the economy €8.2 billion every year.
These staggering figures reaffirm that workplace bullying can have detrimental effects on employers, not just the victim and their co-workers who witness it. If not dealt with swiftly, workplace bullying can contribute to:
While a challenge, detecting and eliminating bullying in the workplace can be an effective way to boost morale among employees, improve your workplace culture and create a positive effect on the productivity of your organisation. Here, we have listed a couple of points on how to combat bullying at work...
Addressing bullying is not an easy fix. Culture, especially shared culture in a small space like a workplace, is difficult to navigate. But once you get to the root causes of bullying in your workplace, you can begin to implement change to support your people.
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