As with any important topic you're trying to get heard about and to help change the public's perspective of it, a lot of pursuasion is needed along with facts and personal stories.
In this economy people are struggling harder financially and our dollars don't seem to go as far. Keeping our health care coverage after we retire or after our company has downsized and let go more employees causes stress and anxiety as people try to figure out how to get regular and needed medical attention. Paying the rent, paying for the needed extras like cable TV and cell phones becomes more of a financial drain while the cost of gas has stayed too high for most of us.
Employers, too, face the high price of providing employee benefits and higher costs due to higher costs, so it may be an intelligent choice to learn how workplace bullyism costs more for companies who do not intervene when their employees become hostile toward other employees.
The Workplace Bullying Institute, one of the top long-time organizations studying this issue for the past 15 years or more, claims that employers lose far more by keeping bullying in the workplace than by pursuing solutions. The cost of supporting hostile behaviors cost employers far more than it is worth. "It's time to examine the real costs of unwanted turnover, absenteeism, lawsuit or complaint settlements, workers comp and disability claims." A national survey (2010) found that 35% of working Americans reported being bullied at work.
The costs of low morale, increased absenteeism, medical illnesses, lower performance, high employee turnover, hiring new employees, and lawsuits are high company costs to keep bullies in operation. A list of common workplace bullying tactics is here.
Management must take the lead on the problem of workplace bullyism that destroys good production of their skilled employees. As with any behavioral problem, managing by taking control of employee behaviors by outlining expected professional behaviors and writing down what would be construed as harrassive and unacceptable behaviors should be part of leadership duties in any company. After all, paying an employee to act badly in the workplace is probably not what the employer asked for in their employee's job descriptions.
As a parent would, detailing the possible consequences for bad behavior on the part of an employee helps discipline a person where they need disciplining. Taking the job by the horns and being the leader they are paid to be, managing employees and training them are all supposidly part of the supervisors job in any company.
Managers must become pro-active in managing their companies. It is better for the bottom line than allowing the workplace to fall apart because of a few dominate, aggressive personalities who may be too unskilled or immature to provide the company with high quality service. A company making a name off of poor customer service and poor morale does not serve a company well and providing benefits to someone who could care less about the company does not seem to be of benefit to any company. It pays to correct the problem and provide detailed job descriptions that include both acceptable and unacceptable behaviors by employees. Adding on what may happen when employees gang up on one another would help sort out the problems.
Companies must learn that there is a difference between unlawful harassment in the workplace and workplace bullyism; that bullyism occurs between the same cultural, religious, and other protected groups as opposed to harassment between different groups. General anti-harassment policy does not go far enough to address the negative behaviors effecting employee production and well-being. Once again, taking employee behaviors seriously as a cost-effective way to manage employee production and morale should be part of the written company policy that gets acted upon when an employer hears about bad behaviors toward targeted employees. Those employees who have the courage enough to face the problems in the workplace environment do not deserve to be blamed; they should be taken seriously and the gangs that are allowed to proliferate in the workplace should be managed properly and not left for the good employees to suffer from and have their jobs interfered with by.