Bullying in the Workplace | Consultant for Disabled Persons

Workplace bullying may sound absurd, but is more common than most care to admit. See if you recognize these behaviors and what you can do about it.
Jan. 25, 2012 - PRLog -- Most people have never heard of the phenomenon known as workplace bullying. In fact, the words themselves almost seem paradoxical. How could it be that in an environment of grown adults there could be something as juvenile taking place as bullying? Isn't this something reserved for middle school playgrounds and after school activities?

Don't be so sure. Bullying in the workplace has become more common than most people imagine even though it is hard to recognize. What seems to be a normal comment about a subordinate's lack-luster work performance can take on a whole new meaning when done in front of other co-workers and with raised volume. You see, the person who is bullying is trying to humiliate the victim within the confines of a normal working relationship.

Over the last few years, however, more awareness has been shed on workplace bullying thanks in part to improved HR standards, training, and handbooks.

According to the Workplace Bullying Institute (www.workplacebullying.org) Workplace Bullying is defined as:

"... repeated, health-harming mistreatment of one or more persons (the targets) by one or more perpetrators that takes one or more of the following forms:

   * Verbal abuse
   * Offensive conduct/behaviors (including nonverbal) which are threatening, humiliating, or intimidating
   * Work interference — sabotage — which prevents work from getting done"

But aside from formal definitions, bullying in the workplace takes on many of the same characteristics that traditional bullying does. It is done by someone who chooses a target and controls the timing, location, and method of bullying. Others are usually made to side with the bully voluntarily or through coercion. And it ultimately comes down to the perpetrators need to control the victim.

Experts say this usually takes place when more experienced, senior employees choose work independently rather than needing the constant involvement of a younger and possibly less experienced supervisor. This can create a situation where the supervisor feels the need to show their authority and begin to demean the employee.

But workplace bullying can be seen in other forms than just the supervisor-employee relationship. In many circumstances employees who work in groups will not allow a new employee to enter their "circle of influence" creating a situation where tensions exist between coworkers.

The most prevalent situation for workplace bullying to occur is when a disabled employee is involved. According to research done by the Equality and Human Rights Commission, "Disabled people are much more likely than the able-bodied to be hit, injured, bullied and humiliated at work".

This groundbreaking study released in 2008 showed that 11.6% of employees with a disability or long-term illness experienced physical violence at work, compared with 5.5% of able-bodied employees.

When it came to performance reviews the study found another interesting trend. Almost twice as many people with disabilities felt their work was unfairly criticized or they had been humiliated ridiculed compared to other employees.

Whether disabled or healthy, enduring bullying in the workplace impacts an individual's health and well being. Anxiety, high-blood pressure, sleeplessness, nausea, irritability, and general depression like symptoms are common.

If you or someone you know is experiencing bullying in the workplace, or if you begin to see signs that may indicate this behavior, know there is help available.  Organizations like Consultants for Disabled Persons can provide you with guidance, advice, and practical steps to ensure a healthy work environment. With over 35 years experience they are compassionately qualified to assist you.

For more information please visit: http://consultantsfordisabledpersons.com
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Tags:Workplace Bullying, Healthy Workplace Bill, Disability Consultants, Disabled
Industry:Workplace Bullying
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