Workplace Violence and Bullying at Work

Workplace Violence and Bullying at Work Overview


The organization can be impacted financially when a worker leaves as a result to bullying. In a UK study 25 percent of people previously bullied said they left the job. Of those who had witnessed bullying, 20 percent choose to leave their job. Leaving a job may be more an effective strategy of coping than demanding an apology or compensation. Productivity within the organization also suffers due to bullying.

In a UK study, those who were targets of bullying reported working to 85 percent of their capacity, as opposed to those with no experience with bullying who reported working to 92 percent of their capacity.

Job satisfaction and motivation have also unsurprisingly been reported to suffer due to bullying. (Rayner, et al., 2002).

Regardless of anti-bullying or harassment policies, employers tend to react dismissively; employers tend not to be interested in the problem of bullying. In a survey on workplace bullying, only 18 percent of the respondents who had reported bullying to their employer reported positive responses, the problem was made worse by the employer in 42 percent of the cases, and nothing was done in another 40 percent of the cases. (Namie, 2003).

When a worker believes they have been treated unfairly, there may feel the need to seek revenge or to sabotage. The resulting behaviours, may lead to theft, vandalism, or gossip. These behaviours can directly and indirectly harm the organization. Crino and Leap suggest that behind disasters, such a Pacific Southwest airline crash in California, there were discontented workers.

The cost of unfair treatment at work can therefore be both financially and humanly devastating. (Neumann, 2000). Dealing with workplace bullying is therefore particularly important, to avoid harm to other people as well as to the target.

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