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Bullying is one of the most common vices manifested in workplaces. Workplace Bullying Institute (WBI), explains it as a practice through which employees subject colleagues to patterns of psychological, physical, or collective behavior that compromise dignity, cause harm, or lead to various forms of threats (Wiedmer, 2010). Statistics indicate that 37% of the working population in the United States has been bullied at one point in their workplaces.
This behavior is prevalent among bosses who often look down on their juniors. Men constitute the highest number of bullies compared to women. Workplace bullies mainly target colleagues who pose potential threat to their careers due to their skills, work experience, and contributions towards the overall organizational success.
Employers have an ethical responsibility to ensure that they provide secure and inclusive work environments that allow employees to achieve maximum productivity (Wiedmer, 2010). This is attained through the development of effective policies and practices that govern employee behavior within the workplace. Workplace bullying has direct impact on victims and organizations.
Impact of workplace bullying on victims and the organization
The negative impacts of bullying in the workplace develop as a result of ignorance among employees regarding the vice, unreported cases, as well as the negligence of organizational leaders (Baack, 2011). Since there are various forms of workplace bullying, employees react differently whenever they are victimized.
The most notable outcomes of workplace bullying include impaired decision making, low self esteem, depression, reduced quality of life, stress, low productivity, as well as suicide in extreme cases. Reduced quality of life is exprienced when victims of bullying succumb to pressure and ultimately quit their jobs. Loss of jobs results in loss of medical cover and inability to sustain their families (Wiedmer, 2010).
Workplace bullying also impacts the organization heavily. Employers who fail to provide a secure workplace deal with various challenges related to unethical practices, such as bullying in their workforce.
Some of the negative outcomes experienced by organizations include increased costs of operation due to compensation claims, high levels of absenteeism, low employee morale, bad publicity, and reduced performance (Baack, 2011). Others include reduced efficiency in service provision, as well as increased expenses from recruitment and selection of employees.
Bullying in the workplace happens on a regular basis because people are involved in numerous activities that are not acceptable in the workplace. Culprits often resort to bullying in order to secure their interests and integrity, as well as to protect themselves (Lavan & Martin, 2008). I work as a United States Marine and an administrator. I have experienced a number of bullying practices in my workplace.
In certain cases, I was the victim. The first case of bullying occurred while working as an administrator with the United States Marine. My duties and responsibilities were very clear, and I worked diligently to ensure that everything was in place as expected (Wiedmer, 2010).
However, a slight collision with one of my seniors resulted in the emergence of an unhealthy working relationship between us. My senior stamped his authority over me by overly increasing my administrative responsibilities and simultaneously reducing my influence, which was not in line with contractual terms and conditions.
The second case of bullying that I have witnessed in my workplace involves the denial of rest for the employee by the senior management (Wiedmer, 2010). All United States marine officers sign contracts that allow them to take a short leave, at least three times a year. The senior management has been using the excuse of too much workload to deny employees their contractual rights and privileges.
This has greatly affected efficiency of service delivery, productivity, and organizational culture because employees lacked the morale to do their work. Working in the United States Marine is very demanding, thus there is a need to ensure that all employees enjoy their benefits to the maximum.
Employers have a responsibility to ensure that their workplaces are free of vices such as bullying. It is important for organizational leaders to understand that achieving this feat requires a lot of attention with regard to time, resources, and creation of the right atmosphere for change (Lavan & Martin, 2008).
Organizational leaders can apply a number of techniques to eradicate workplace bullying. First, I would recommend that organizational leaders establish causes and factors that promote the practice, and establish how employees feel about the problem. This would aid in the eradication of factors that encourage propagation of the vice. Bullying can be eradicated through fostering effective communication.
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Secondly, I would recommend the identification of available resources and solutions to the problem from within the organization. This would entail the creation of awareness among the employees regarding the importance of teamwork and mutual respect. In addition, it would involve propagation of a culture of working together in order to develop and approve policies for eliminating the vice (Lavan & Martin, 2008).
Bullying is one of the barriers that hinder individual and organizational success within the workplace. The vice has a negative impact on victims, as well as employers. It is the responsibility of every employer to ensure that they provide their employees with a safe and inclusive work environment that motivates them to work and allows them freedom of expression. Organizational leaders must ensure that bullies within the workplace are not protected regardless of their status in the organization.
Baack, D. (2011). Management Communication. New York: John Wiley & Sons.
Lavan, H., & Martin, W. (2008). Bullying in the U.S. Workplace: Normative and process-oriented ethical approaches. Journal of Business Ethics, 83, 147-165.
Wiedmer, T. (2010). Workplace bullying: costly and preventable. Delta Kappa Gamma Bulletin, 77(2), 35-41.