Take a stand against workplace bullying

2016-04-28 19:47

With the coming of Workers Day, I would like to highlight the manner in which some managers at business establishments treat their workers.

Damaging reports from workers about managers abusing their subordinates abound. A manager may unknowingly or deliberately abuse employees through intimidation, bullying, harassment or through more shrewd and subtle ways such as belittling workers or discrediting their contributions.

Often individuals that are promoted into management positions may not have earned the position on merit, good interpersonal or management skills, but on the basis of years of service to the company. They often do not possess “managerial” experience and thus become very insecure. Due to this insecurity many treat their juniors like children and become unnecessarily tough on their fellow colleagues who in turn end up with illnesses such as depression and anxiety disorders.

Bullying behaviour can occur in any workplace from offices to school staff rooms, community groups, and government organisations and even in restaurants and the small corner shop. It can take place between anyone and not necessarily be perpetrated by managers only.

Workplace bullying does not only occur between individuals, supervisors or co-workers, a group of workers can also be responsible for targeting an individual or another group of workers.

This job-related stress can be a catalyst for and violent behaviour from workers leading to even more serious consequences.

Bullying is not simply the domain of schools; workplace bullying is on the rise. Many human resource experts believe bullying in the work place is on the increase and yet few companies have policies in place to deal with this “silent epidemic”. Those that do have often failed to correctly implement them.

There should be zero tolerance of bullying, and employees should learn to recognise and admit managerial abuse or other forms or levels of abuse and subsequently employ the necessary measures to put an end to it.

There is a legal obligation levied on all employers to provide reasonable structures and support to their employees to make sure that they are able to carry out their duties diligently without any form of bullying, harassment or intimidation by other employees.

Everyone has the right to have a workplace free from bullying.

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