Jason Carney, a workplace consultant in Indianapolis, was interviewed recently by Amanda McGrory-Dixon of BenefitsPro on the subject of workplace bullying involves. He described bullying as demeaning an employee or undermining and sabotaging his or her work: “In a lot of ways, work is no different than high school. People feel they need to be in with the ‘right crowd,’ and they bow to peer pressure of bullying.”
Carney contends that besides the obvious personal invidiousness of bullying, permitting workplace bullying is costly to an employer: it can result lower productivity, higher absenteeism, poor morale and even higher insurance costs.
How To Reduce Bullying?
Carney outlines a few steps to take to reduce bullying in the workplace.
- Have a good management team in place that can spot this bullying “a mile away.”
- Be on the lookout for office gossip, a major indicator of bullying (more on that soon), and try to reduce harmful gossip by making employees aware of its damage.
- Conduct sensitivity training for all employees, and training specifically on workplace bullying for managers.
- If workplace bullying has indeed occurred, an employer should help the victim gain access to an employee assistance program (“EAP”) – which can provide free counseling sessions, and an anonymous third-party reporting mechanism.