Bullying at work usually surfaces in one of several ways:
- Interfering with an employee’s work
- Verbal abuse or intimidating/threatening behavior
- Malicious accusations
- Supervisors selectively holding some employees to a higher standard than others
The Cost to Your Business
Everyone understands the negative affects bullying can have on the victims. Physical problems including stress, digestive problems and even insomnia can be caused by the boorish behavior. Allowing bullying to continue in the workplace can be costing you — the employer — financially. Bullying can eat up a large amount of your budget in some unexpected ways.
- Bullied employees aren’t as motivated to do their work. They tend to take more sick days due to stress.
- Your business reputation can be battered if your customers find out employees are being bullied and you stand by doing nothing. In today’s high-tech world, news travels fast.
- People don’t want to work in places where they aren’t treated well and they’l leave if they feel they’re being bullied. When they leave, you’ll have to spend time and money to recruit, hire and train replacements.
- You and your company could be sued if bullying is allowed to continue. Employees could also sue you for any damages that they incurred as a result of the bullying.
You can avoid the high cost of bullies by watching for signs of problems. As soon as you notice any sign of bullying, address it immediately. Putting in place a zero-tolerance policy for your company will help your employees feel as though something as being done and they are much more likely to tell you what they are experiencing.