If You Can’t Spot the Bully in the Room

If You Can’t Spot the Bully in the Room

According to a recent study by the Center for Disease Control, as many as 20% of high school students report being bullied on school grounds, while another 16% claim to have been bullied electronically.  As much of a problem as school bullying is, with reports of an increase in teen suicide and significant teen emotional issues, bullying does not end when students graduate high school and enter college or the workforce. Indeed, the same CDC study indicates that roughly 7% of all Americans report being bullied in the workplace.

Although recent trends have shown improvement in instances of workplace bullying (which correspond with an increase in company willingness to spend compliance resources on identifying and eliminating this type of behavior), the reductions in workplace bullying complaints are still slight and show significant room for improvement.

Workplace bullying persists for a variety of reasons, not the least of which is a hard-nosed culture that has been instilled in the American workforce wherein “only the strong survive.” As an alumnus of high-pressure law firm and corporate environments, I’m no stranger to the “drill sergeant” method of motivation.  For myself; yelling, screaming, and paper throwing reminds me of playing sports as a kid and has no negative impact, psychologically or physically. Conversely, I’ve known several bright attorneys who simply could not take tactics they found abusive and dropped out of practice altogether.  That fact alone indicates that bullying in the workplace is a problem.

Learn more about Syntrio's anti-bullying course Preventing Workplace Bullying

Many high-level executives and law firm partners look at those who choose to leave a stressful and potentially abusive environment as “selecting out” of the process, only to have those positions filled with fresh candidates who can either “cut it” or not. This creates an endless cycle of development and departure that is likely problematic for the long-term success of corporate culture.  Although the “sink or swim” debate can be left for those with degrees in psychology, it is clear that turbulence and turnover in corporate environments does have a negative impact on project continuity.

For the aforementioned reasons, companies have begun investing significant compliance capital into diversity, respect, and anti-bullying training courses aimed at changing corporate culture from intimidation and regimented hierarchical structure to harmony and teamwork. While results are still being calculated (as focus on workplace bullying has only come to light in the last few years), early returns from companies who have implemented workplace bullying and diversity/respect training into their compliance programs have been positive.

Syntrio recommends contacting a member of its staff for a review of our products in the diversity & respect and anti-bullying areas of compliance. We invite you to review our products and see for yourself how you can derive increased productivity from a change in corporate culture!

 Do you have questions about your current anti-harassment, anti-discrimination or code of conduct training program? Contact us and we can work with you to make recommendations to augment and/or improve your current offering.

Syntrio is a leader in both the ethics and compliance field, as well as human resources and employment law, and is prepared to help your company implement a compliance program aimed at reducing the potential impact of compliance violations within the organization. Syntrio takes an innovative philosophy towards compliance program design and strives to engineer engaging, entertaining, and thought-provoking content. Contact www.syntrio.com for more information about our ethics and code of conduct online courses and remember to follow us on Facebook, TwitterGoogle Plus and LinkedIn for daily updates on employment law and compliance that impact your company!

Written by, Jon Gonzalez, Esq., Chief Counsel for Syntrio


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