This case study will focus on the psychological and physical effects of being bullied in the workplace both in person and through social media outlets. Until recently, I feel like workplace bullying has been seen as playful teasing. But people are now realizing that bullying is bullying and it is unacceptable regardless of one’s age or occupational position. This bullying ruins people’s lives and tears their confidence down. People are driven to quit their jobs or even go as far as committing suicide because of this harassment. Workers’ health is not the only thing affected by workplace bullying. Companies suffer because their employees are preoccupied with other worries and this causes them to be less productive. Unfortunately, there are no current policies specifically addressing workplace bullying, but I do believe that solid laws will be formed soon enough.
What is workplace bullying? What are the statistics?
Workplace bullying can be a very grey area. What one person may consider as being harmless, playful teasing, may not be that amusing to another person. “Workplace bullying has been defined as ‘the repeated, malicious, health-endangering mistreatment of one employee (the Target) by one or more other employees (the bully, bullies)’. To be identified as bullying, the behavior has to occur regularly, repeatedly, and over a period of time” (Harthill). According to the Workplace Bullying Institute's national scientific surveys in 2007 and 2010, 35% of adult Americans report being bullied at work. That comes out to an estimated 54 million workers (Work Doctor).
Workplace “bullying is four times more prevalent than illegal harassment” (Give Me), and yet, it is technically still legal. The U.S. is the “last of the western democracies to not have a law forbidding bullying-like conduct in the workplace” (The Problem). There must be laws set in place against workplace bullying. Gary Namie, director of the Workplace Bullying Institute described workplace bullying perfectly. “In practice, workplace bullying is domestic violence at work, where the abuser is on the payroll. The longer we delay, the more workers who don’t deserve denigrating abuse suffer” (Namie).
People need to recognize the magnitude of this problem. It is not something that a victim can just ignore and get over. It is not ok for an employer to tell a victim to stop being so sensitive and to build tougher skin. People have to know that this is wrong and that it is a crime.
Social Media’s role in workplace bullying.
Cyber-bullying is a relatively new issue in the workplace. When people think of cyber-bullying, they have the image of teenagers terrorizing their peers. However, cyber-bullying has now become an issue with adults in the workplace. Being bullied by coworkers can now continue outside of the workplace with the popularity of social media. Social media can even be used to fuel workplace bullying. This continual social isolation in and out of the...