Biting Back at the Bullies: Effective Training Can Reduce Bullying and Harassment in the Workplace

Bullies are everywhere. Certain people take joy and pleasure in making miserable the lives of those they perceive as “weak” or easy targets for taking out their personal frustrations. Workplace bullying is a growing yet preventable phenomenon that can take a variety of forms. It is important to note that workplace bullying can be considered a form of actionable workplace harassment when the activity comes from a supervisor (or co-worker behavior is reported and management does not effectively quash the behavior) and creates a hostile working environment.   

Allowing a bullying culture to continue at your business is not only counterproductive, it can lead to significant legal fees when an employee decides to file a harassment or retaliation lawsuit. Therefore, effective bully prevention training is a cost-effective method to reduce the potential for exposure to the types of legal and financial consequences your business may be exposed to if such practices are allowed to continue.   

Supervisors Often Bully Their Subordinate Employees Without Knowing It 

Perhaps the most common form of workplace bullying is the “hothead” supervisor who takes out his professional and personal frustrations on the employees he is assigned to manage.  In the classic cases the supervisor feels as though he has to “break down” his staff in order to “build them up,” or simply feels that the “tough love” seen in professional sports leagues is the only effective way to manage. As seen in the recent NFL Miami Dolphins scandal involving a group of senior players accused of bullying a more junior offensive lineman, this strategy is ineffective in the modern workplace, and leads to legal trouble. 

2014 Study Shows Workplace Bullying is Pervasive 

A recent study showed that 27% of American employees have been subjected to bullying, with a majority of the alleged bullying by a supervisor. Additionally, 21% of American employees have witnessed an incident of workplace bullying. Finally, the study revealed that 82% of workplace bullying victims wound up losing their job, either by voluntary or involuntary termination. That number is simply too high, and presents too significant a business risk for owners to allow a bullying culture to take place.   

Employers have a responsibility to eliminate workplace bullying and workplace harassment. Additionally, when an employee reports an incident of bullying or harassment and the employer either does nothing about the incident, or worse, takes an adverse action against the employee, he or she may have a claim for retaliation or other common law business torts. By allowing these unlawful practices to flourish in the workplace, employers pay the high price of litigation costs in addition to low morale, decreased productivity, and an overall negative reputation in the community. Further, modern employers understand that not only are they able to avoid employee lawsuits, they also gain a more productive overall workforce when their businesses are free from hostile environments. In short, effective anti-harassment and anti-bullying training is a prudent business decision. 

Cost-Effective Electronic Methods of Workplace Harassment and Anti-Bullying Training Can Save Costs and Increase Employee Productivity 

With the advent of e-learning and online compliance training, developing anti-harassment and anti-bullying policies that has become easier and more cost-effective than ever. Certified training companies like Syntrio, Inc. provide training courses and materials with respect to workplace harassment, workplace bullying, and retaliation prevention methods.  

Syntrio, Inc. specializes in providing anti-harassment business ethics and HR compliance training in an extremely comprehensive yet cost-effective and time sensitive manner.  Contact us today at 888-289-6670 to discuss the ways Syntrio, Inc. can help your supervisors and HR professionals ensure that they are up to date with state and federal laws regarding equality and workplace diversity training.