The Impact of Bullying in the Workplace
How many of the people Bullying in the Workplace?
29% of people say they have been bullied at work with more than one in three of those who reported bullying leaving their job because of it. Workplace bullying creates a hostile atmosphere for anyone involved, and witnessing the bullying can lead to both mental and physical concerns for employees. It can also be damaging for the business in many other ways. Being able to identify and quickly and efficiently act on workplace bullying to get it under control is essential for all involved and leads to a happier and more productive team.
The psychological impacts of bullying
For the person being bullied, the psychological impact is likely to be significant and will often take the form of anxiety and depression. Anxiety will come from constant fear and worry about what might happen during their workday, while depression can occur from feeling like they’re being bullied because they’re not good enough and having their flaws pointed out to them by the bully. The body will also go into the fight or flight response as a result of stress. This response essentially puts the body and mind into survival mode and can make the person react in ways that don’t make logical sense to others. It also means their body is putting all of its energy into surviving which makes it difficult to think clearly or make decisions, so job performance is likely to decline.
The physical impacts of bullying
The fight or flight response has physical effects, as well as psychological. As the body puts its energy into surviving, the person being bullied will feel exhausted and their body will release more stress hormones. These hormones make the heart beat faster, blood vessels constrict, and muscles tense. While these effects aren’t pleasant in the short-term, research also suggests that they can lead to long-term health effects, particularly if the bullying continues for a long time.
This includes an increased risk of heart attacks, strokes, and substance abuse that can lead to further health problems. Additionally, people who have experienced bullying are more likely to experience headaches and general muscle pain, as well as fibromyalgia in the long-term. This is also believed to be due to the body’s fight or flight stress response. There’s also a chance that the bullying is physical and can cause bodily harm to the victim, such as bruises, cut, and even broken bones.
The effect on business
As already stated, people leave their jobs due to workplace bullying, which will, of course, have an effect on the business. Not only does it come with the costs of hiring someone to replace the person who leaves, but it’s also money lost for the business in the form of training and other investments into the bullied employee. There’s a good chance that other employees will talk so new recruits will find out about the bullying and may not stay, leading to more money and time wasted. This can, in turn, create a bad reputation for businesses and lead to people not applying to work with them or to use their services, resulting in less business overall. This is why it’s essential to get workplace bullying under control from a business point of view.
Workplace bullying is more common than you may realise and can have detrimental effects on the victim, both psychologically and physically. Business is also likely to suffer as it’s common for the victim to leave their role and word can quickly spread about their treatment. Businesses need to act on bullying as soon as it’s reported or identified to prevent it from becoming out of control.