The Tompkins County Workers’ Center is planning to sponsor a support group or series of speakers on the topic of workplace bullying. Bullying is the second most common complaint we receive at the Workers’ Center, topped only by unfair termination (which is sometimes related to bullying as well). We’ve heard the stories of the stress-related diseases, absenteeism, poor morale and PTSD that targets of workplace bullying suffer. Bullying is not illegal unless it crosses the line into discrimination or physical violence. However, it can be addressed by education and support for the targeted employee.
This is a serious workplace problem that we feel compelled to address.
Bullying is persistent, abusive behavior designed to make the target feel upset, humiliated or threatened. Tactics may include: unfairly blaming others for errors; unjustified criticism and trivial fault-finding; making unreasonable demands, denying needed information or resources or sabotaging the target’s work; yelling, screaming, insults, put-downs, humiliating comments, threats of job loss; inconsistent enforcement of arbitrary rules; social exclusion; stealing credit for others work.
Bullying affects both the job performance and health of the target but it also affects the business by creating a poisonous work environment and increased staff turnover.
Do you have clients, colleagues or friends who are targets of bullying? or are you the target of a workplace bully? Please pass along this information and ask them to call or email me. I would like some feedback from workers in this situation in order to plan a program that would be most helpful to them. All inquiries are, as always, entirely confidential. The danger of school bullying is entering into the consciousness of many people; we plan on educating the public about the dangers of workplace bullying, too.