Workplace Bullying: Its Negative Effects to Victims and the Firm

Posted by on Sep 3, 2013

The American Psychological Association defines bullying as one type of aggressive behavior displayed by someone to intentionally and repeatedly cause discomfort or injury upon another; it can be displayed through words, physical contact or subtle actions.

Bullying is a serious issue not only among kids and teenagers in schools; even office employees experience bullying acts from co-workers.

Workplace bullying happens when a workplace authority (such as a supervisor or a manager), a co-employee or a group of co-employees single out another co-worker, treating him/her unreasonably, embarrassingly or with intimidation. Though bullies may not admit it, but studies have consistently shown that people bully because they feel threatened by the victim, who undoubtedly has better skills than them; otherwise, these bullies are just plain insecure or immature.

The various forms of workplace bullying include:

  • Shouting at an employee or verbally abusing him/her
  • Unjustly criticizing or blaming the same particular employee and excluding him/her from company activities
  • Purposefully ignoring the same particular employee’s work achievements and contributions
  • Actions or language embarrass or humiliate an employee
  • Repeated practical jokes to the same person

Workplace bullying has serious negative effects on individuals and companies. While it can result to stress, low productivity, absenteeism, lowered self-esteem, digestive upsets, high blood pressure, insomnia and stress over work for the individual victim, for the company, its effects can include high employee turnover, low employee output and difficulty hiring quality employees.

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