Bullying doesn’t stop when school ends. Workplace bullying is a very real issue, and one that plagues many businesses across the world. Unfortunately, too many business owners dismiss the issue as something that employees should handle on their own – often ignoring the very real consequences involved when adults have to deal with this sort of issue. If you don’t understand what can happen to your business due to workplace bullying, you may be setting yourself up for failure.
At a minimum, workplace bullying creates an unpleasant work environment. While you might not be particularly concerned with how all of your employees feel at all times, this has a direct impact on your bottom line. Unhappy employees are unproductive employees, and workplace bullying takes time and energy away from the tasks that should be accomplished during a work day. At the very least, workplace bullying constitutes improper use of work time – time that should be used to make your company money.
Beyond a loss of productivity, workplace bullying can also have legal consequences for your business. By creating a hostile work environment, you might run afoul of certain labor or harassment laws. You may also create a situation in which you allow one of your employees to be harmed physically or psychologically, and your business will often be found liable for that damage. Indeed, workplace bullying is as much the fault of the business owner as it is that of the workplace bully.
Workplace bullying reducing productivity and it places businesses in danger of legal liability. It also makes your place of work unsafe and unappealing to your workers. If you want a successful business, it’s important that you take workplace bullying seriously. Failure to do so can lead to consequences for more than just those directly impacted by the bully.
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Dr. Christi Monk is the founder of the Workplace Survival Institute which helps organizations build a culture of “connectedness.” She received her doctoral degree in Management of Organizational Leadership Studies and is certified in Conflict Resolution and Workplace Mediation. Her published work is entitled Workplace Bullying – In Search of a Clearer Definition. Dr. Monk is a certified trainer from the Workplace Bullying Institute.