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Workplace Bullying

What is Workplace Bullying?

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Workplace bullying is an epidemic that undermines workplace productivity. It eventually undermines the corporate culture, erodes employees’ morale, and hinders organizational growth.

By definition, Workplace bullying is the less favorable treatment of an employee at the workplace. There is extensive debate and discussion over workplace bullying and its subtle characteristics. However, it varies from culture to culture and differs legally as well.

Essentially, workplace bullying stands beyond repeated unfavorable treatment. It is a practice by management to discredit employees’ genuine work, isolating employees from opportunities, and offering and creating undue pressure and stress, among others. It is important to note that there are multiple forms of workplace bullying. Some of the prominent forms are delineated as follows.

Different Forms of Workplace Bullying:

Verbal Bullying

Verbal Bullying is conventional bullying. This usually takes place when an employee in an organization is vulnerable to any exposition. For example, an employee often gets remarks pertaining to habits, such as being a glutton. Undue and unnecessary complaint against an employee is also a form of bullying. It is noteworthy that verbal forms of bullying can be inflicted upon any gender because bullying in the workplace is not gender specific. Research quotes that the verbal form of bullying is not specific to any gender. It can be either male or female or transgender who can be victims of bullying at the workplace. A prominent example of workplace verbal bullying is the recent case in Japan where a mayor in Japan made verbal abuse to a staffer. The city commission found him guilty and made him apologize to the staffer. Several cases have been emerging of verbal bullying at workplaces. However, it is essential to note that there is a trend nowadays in which sarcasm is being widely adopted. A notable example is Amazon’s famous case where employees cried about demeaning and harsh verbal abuse at the company’s workplace. Verbal bullying. This form of bullying has certainly deteriorated the organizational and as well personal growth and development of employees extensively.

Cyberbullying

This form of bullying has been scourging significantly. The adduced technology and technological communications have garnered this form of bullying. Employees at the workplace receive threatening, undue, and unnecessary text messages, emails, and social media texts in personal chatbots of employees. Bullying from this form has brought severe threats to employees. This has greatly impacted the families of employees and their cohorts living with them. Messages and emails from colleagues, seniors, and bosses have added woes to the already fragile labor force in many companies. Social exclusion has become a practice in recent times owing to this bullying form. This has been a modern form of bullying that has increased significantly. For instance, Microsoft employees complained that they received threatening emails and messages from the company’s colleagues and coworkers. Their texts and emails harmed their mental peace, and they got disturbed.

Meanwhile, many employees also spoke volumes about the disturbance in their families. It is essential to note that there is limited cyberbullying in European countries due to strict protection laws for women in the workplace. However, the situation in developing and Asian countries is bleak. Asian countries lack acute protection for female employees. Bullying and shaming of every kind are pervasive, and it is considered the right of employers to bully their employees or workers in the workplace.

Intimidation

Intimidation is also a form of bullying in the workplace. In a competitive work environment, employees face a threatening and horrifying attitude from supervisors at the workplace. This intimidation is an outcome of different pulses. Primarily, this emerges owing to competition among forms where companies intend to lessen costs and achieve more efficient outcomes. There exists a rising tide of intimidating behavior in corporate culture. Employees facing rising inflation and cost of living are forced to face this menace of intimacy. There is no denying the fact that intimacy is a horrendous act faced by female workers in the workplace. For example, Tesla company employees reported to have been forced to face intimacy by supervisors. They stated that they had to work for longer hours. If they refused to do so, they had to face severe repercussions…

Social Exclusion

Social exclusion is a form of workplace bullying that has been rising significantly. Social exclusion bullying is practiced by excluding employees and impactful workers from certain important meetings and functions. This causes a sense of deprivation and engenders mental peace disturbance, leading to diminished workers’ productivity and efficiency. For example, in a high-level meeting where high-performing employees’ participation is essentially important, they are excluded, and only blue-eyed workers are invited. This show of glamour posed by such supervisors and employees downstream the organization’s equitable attitude. One prominent example is that of the employees working at Apple Inc., who lauded this form of bullying at the giant corporate company. This left the company in a lurking, unsustainable workplace for ambitious employees. Therefore, this is a serious leading towards a pernicious organizational environment for productive and dedicated employees.

Undermining efforts

It is lying on the surface in a corporate culture where employees are demeaned and discredited about their work and efforts at the workplace. This is considered a form of bullying that has deteriorated employees’ efforts significantly. This is considered a situation where employees are completely discouraged from working hard. Employers or supervisors promote favoritism and nepotism in the workplace. This results in overall organizational decay and discards the growth of employees as well. The culture of undermining the efforts of employees not only discourages employees at the workplace, but this form of bullying also clutches the innovation of the workplace. In addition, this culture propels overall growth in an industry if culture prevails extensively in a particular industry market. Psychology also offers the fact that employees who are not given appreciation perform low, and this hampers the goals of an organization to be attained. For example, Google, a top-ranked tech company, faced backlash after employees lauded the company’s supervisors for this bullying form.

Workplace Bullying: How its contours are changing?

Besides the different forms of workplace bullying, employees in corporate culture experience novel and modern forms of bullying as well. It does not only happen when an employer, coworker, or person is at the managerial level. Nowadays, when employees are confronted with questions such as asking them about their skill sets and their intelligence, they also come under the ambit of workplace bullying. When an employer or supervisor hires an employee, the organization must be clear and well-known about the employee’s skillset and level of intelligence. This creates a mental peace problem for an employee and brings an employee to the lowest ebb of confidence. Psychology explains that this could cause mental trauma and make employees disturbed mentally.

Most of the time, it is effectively learned that sarcasm talks bully employees during meetings or chatbot messages. This is a new form of bullying where no physical or verbal form is involved. Employees who are bullied find themselves insecure in the workplace. This insecurity is referred to as the new contour of workplace bullying. It is essential to note that most of the tech-oriented companies run their WhatsApp groups and Facebook chatbots. These groups often discuss employees’ work and their performance. This creates an easy way to bully by using sarcastic words. Hence, it creates a problem of mental peace and disturbance. It is reported that most of the female workers in the workplace cannot overcome such forms of bullying and stop working in organizations. Therefore, this form of bullying has impacted working females across different cultures significantly. Therefore, this has made the corporate culture prone to systematic corruption and has made it extensively vulnerable for female workers.

Does workplace bullying impact the well-being of employees?

Workplace bullying significantly impacts the well-being of employees. This refers to the fact that the employees who are bullied are mentally disturbed. It is essential to note that well-being is one of the priorities of employees in the workplace. An employee who is too ambitious cannot find security in an environment that is full of bullying.

Studies on the consequences of bullying have suggested three primary categories of well-being outcomes to this day. However, psychological well-being is something that brings happiness to workers. Some examples of psychological well-being include anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress, all of which have been linked to bullying. The concept of physical well-being comprises a variety of concepts that are associated with the health and functioning of the body, including pain and other physical symptoms. Thus, organizational well-being encompasses cognitive, affective processes that are directly connected to an employee’s job or organization, such as work engagement and job satisfaction, despite the fact that organizational forms of well-being have traditionally been studied under the label of psychological well-being. There is theoretical value in distinguishing between the two types of well-being. For instance, a resilient person might not feel any acute psychological problems as a result of being bullied, but they might nevertheless have a reduced level of work satisfaction. In addition, the well-being categories that are discussed in the bullying literature are mirrored in wider theories, conceptualizations, and discussions on the topic of well-being. Therefore, it is essential to shed light on work-domain satisfaction as a distinct component of well-being, which is distinct from both physical health and emotional forms of well-being. Employees who are bullied find themselves inefficient and ineffective for organizations to work at. However, it is one of the top priorities of working people to work for an organization that is effectively free of bullying discourse.

Workplace bullying and marginalized communities

There has been a rising trend that marginalized communities at the workplace face acute forms of workplace bullying. This form of bullying has emerged most often in diverse workforce cultures in an organization. The diverse labor force is beneficial in many aspects. It engenders innovation and development and brings efficient and effective managerial and organizational success to employers. Workplace bullying has impacted the already marginalized communities across corporate companies. However, it is essential to note that ethno-racial discrimination has been studied in research that explores how marginalized communities face workplace bullying. In the research, it is reported that workplace bullying has been a common trend. White men bully their colleagues at the workplace who are black in skin. Racial and ethnic bullying has always brought cases to the court of law and has attracted media attention significantly. Despite these facts, it has seen a scourging trend to its core.

To summarise, it is essential to note that workplace bullying not only undermines the psychological sanctity of an employee but also hampers organizational operations to its successful realization. Primarily, there is a need for corporate companies to create a culture of inclusivity. The egalitarian approach is important for a successful workplace environment and for employees working equally in the workplace. Employees must be trained to clutch this menace of bullying. However, a robust strategy encompassing clear policies, comprehensive training, transparent procedures, and ethical leadership is required.

How can you protect yourself from being bullied in the workplace?

Some of the ways and means are delineated as follows  that could be adapted to overcome the threat of being bullied

  • Be confident in the workplace
  • Prioritize your privacy over personal gossip
  • Cooperate with colleagues and co-workers but avoid being too dictated and directed.
  • Keep yourself abreast of company rules and state laws related to your responsibility.

Report any unwanted event to the supervisor and employer.

Do state laws ensure employees’ protection against bullying at the workplace?

Yes, indeed, every country has different laws and legal frameworks that protect employees from workplace bullying. Moreover, different countries have established specialized teams and protection cells to combat this issue. For instance, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in the United States of America is dedicated to safeguarding employees’ rights, including protection against bullying. Similarly, the Equality Act 2010 in the United Kingdom is a robust safeguard against this issue in the workplace. These legal protections exist to ensure your security and protection.

    4 Comments

  1. Shumaila
    May 3, 2024
    Reply

    You spoke of my heart that social exclusion is also bullying. We witness every time in organisations’s cultures. They only favour their favourites. Good write up and unique ideas.

  2. Adam
    May 4, 2024
    Reply

    The author has justified the topic amazingly. This needs to be talked and discussed.

  3. Alyna Jeff
    May 5, 2024
    Reply

    Again, good research. Do you have video on these topics?

  4. Dr. Salina
    May 13, 2024
    Reply

    Recently, owners bully employees in USA due to differences in wage hours rate . You have rightly said about the marginalised persons are vulnerable to bullying

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