On the night of April 14, 2016, a dear friend passed away due to complications from severe pneumonia. She had been under an inordinate amount of stress and her body couldn’t fight it off. She was someone who helped me deal with my own issues with workplace bullying, but in the end, it was that same kind of stress that took her life. Please, please, please understand that workplace bullying harms people. It harms health and it take lives. I’m saddened, shocked and angry that this happened to such a special lady.
Workplace bullying has affected me directly and it has also affected many people that I know and care about. There are still too many people that are unaware of this phenomenon and some who feel that it’s just something experienced by “weak people who don’t have a backbone.”
The friend that so many of us lost that night was far from weak. She was one of the strongest people I’ve ever known. Bullies don’t attack the weak. They attack the high performers, the competent workers who make the inept bullies feel threatened. Bullies are the weak ones.
Workplace bullying is very real. Statistics reveal that many workers have experienced bullying as either a target or as a witness. Workplace bullying affects most workplaces to some degree. And its effects are deadly. The stress it causes attacks vital organs in the body. It causes depression, anxiety and PTSD. People commit suicide because of the terrible pain caused by it. It exacerbates already existing health conditions.
If anyone wants to learn more, and I hope many do, please inbox me and I’ll direct you to several resources. Workplace bullying is not BS. At any time, a bully may direct their wrath at you or someone you care about.
God bless my friend and her family, especially her grandsons who she loved so much and who will miss her terribly.
A recent report by psychologist Robert Hogan suggests that 75% of workers attribute their workplace stress to their immediate supervisor. This stress may be caused by working with an incompetent boss, or worse, a bullying boss. Incompetence may be solved by providing better supervisory training. Tackling a bullying problem may be a tougher task.
Employers must make a conscious choice to eliminate bullying from their businesses, but they may need to seek outside help to learn how tackle the issue. One answer would be to read The Bully-Free Workplace (Stop Jerks, Weasels, and Snakes From Killing Your Organization). The book was written by Gary and Ruth Namie of the Workplace Bullying Institute (WBI), internationally known for their research of this subject.
According to the WBI website, workplace bullying is defined as repeated abusive behavior that is harmful to a person’s health. It is committed by one or more people against one or more targets. Bullying is detrimental to business because it creates an atmosphere of mistrust and hampers productivity. Some bullying behaviors are verbal abuse, intimidation (including nonverbal behaviors), work sabotage, unfounded accusations, gossip and social ostracism.
Continued at Namie book provides employers with tools against workplace bullying – Rockford Workplace Issues | Examiner.com.
My latest piece for Examiner.com.
Workplace violence occurs when harmful acts or threats of harmful acts are committed against persons while in their work setting. According to an Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) fact sheet, workplace violence can be anything from verbal threats or abuse, intimidation, or physical acts that result in injuries or homicide. It can occur in any workplace without exception, so all workers must be aware of the possibility of events that can lead to workplace violence. Nearly two million reports are received each year from people stating they were victims of workplace violence. There are assumed to be many cases that go unreported. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries (CFOI), there were 506 workplace homicides in 2010.
Causes of workplace violence
Several issues may cause people to make choices that are harmful to themselves or others in the workplace. These include mental illnesses, alcohol or drug abuse, and financial crises that are related to job loss. Workplace violence is often the result of a person’s inability to cope with these stressors, leaving them with the feeling that there is no alternative to solving their problems or dealing with the anger or fear they are experiencing.
Risk factors related to workplace violence
OSHA lists various risk factors for workplace violence. These factors include:
- Jobs that involve the exchange of money with the public;
- Unstable people in the workplace;
- Work sites where alcohol is served;
- Late night work shifts;
- Work sites located in high crime areas;
- Working alone or in small groups;
- Jobs such as delivery drivers, healthcare professionals, public service workers, customer service agents and law enforcement personnel.
Continue reading at Preparing for the unpredictable: Taking steps to prevent workplace violence – Rockford Workplace Issues | Examiner.com.
The following article offers novices more incite into the workplace bullying phenomenon. This subject is one of my main topics of interest for varying reasons. Please explore the WBI website for more information. You can also check out my “sister” blog “Stop Workplace Bullies – Now!”
Read More: Workplace Bullying: North America’s Silent Epidemic
Although this article is more appropriate for my “Stop Workplace Bullies…Now!” blog, I felt compelled to share it here as well. As for the writer of this article – I have been following David Yamada’s blog for some time now. He is a valued friend with the anti-workplace bullying movement. In fact, he is the author of the Healthy Workplace Bill. He doesn’t write any junk – his stuff is thought-provoking and inspirational. Enjoy.
A 12-step program for compassion
Karen Armstrong is a noted author on religious affairs. Her latest book is Twelve Steps to a Compassionate Life (2010), a mix of faith, philosophy, and self-help. In it, she offers a 12-step program to help make the world a more compassionate place:
- “Learn About Compassion”
- “Look at Your Own World”
- “Compassion for Yourself”
- “How Little We Know”
- “How Should We Speak to One Another?”
- “Concern for Everybody”
- “Love Your Enemies”
This is not easy stuff. Armstrong’s program requires introspection, honest self-evaluation, and conscious effort. Perhaps I’m betraying my own limitations here, but I do believe that folks who attain the final step of loving their enemies should be designated junior saints, or at least get a certificate!
Continued @ Minding the Workplace.