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Creating a proactive environment and implementing guidelines to curb workplace bullying

Creating a proactive environment and implementing guidelines to curb workplace bullying

16 March | 0 Comments | By Arizona Mental Health Helpline Team

No more limited to just schools, colleges and social media, bullying has become prevalent in offices as well. Due to cutthroat competition and jealousy, one can notice that workplaces are steadily turning into war zones. With the foray of technology and awareness of gender equality, the level of competition in offices has multiplied manifold. Though most of the workplaces exude a warm and healthy work environment, offering an egalitarian platform, there have also been a range of discriminatory practices that have mushroomed like never before.

A common behavior seen in offices these days is of employees resorting to the negative practice of intimidation and control. Driven by ambition, employees resort to different forms of bullying across most organizations. The bullies try to manipulate and intimidate the victim, by collaborating with others and using unfair means. In the absence of adequate support and understanding, victims develop a range of maladaptive behaviors, such as self-harm, withdrawal, low self-esteem, deep shame, etc. Besides poor performance and broken relationships, they develop mental health issues like anxiety, depression, panic attacks, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

According to a study, conducted by a workplace bullying institute, the total number of American workers subjected to abusive conduct is 37 million and those affected by bullying is 65.6 million. It has now become a major human right and public health concern. Generally, most of the organizations have so far been ill-prepared to deal with such a sensitive issue. With the increase in media reports pertaining to workplace bullying, many organizations are putting on their thinking caps to determine useful interventions that can dissuade such discriminatory practices.

Effective ways to respond to workplace bullying

One of the best ways to handle any kind of bullying is to make the employees aware about its repercussions on mental health. Instead of establishing a reactive environment at the workplace, employees must be encouraged to become proactive. Moreover, certain coping strategies can also be adopted, such as finding solidarity in coworkers, lodging a complaint against the bully with evidence, etc. As most of the victims tend to become isolated at the workplace, they should discuss the bully’s behavior with others to make him or her incapable of harming them.

With an increase in others forms of bullying, such as sexual harassment, criticism based on any disability, etc., a number of shocking cases of discrimination have emerged, both nationally and internationally.  In fact, many victims experienced devastative mental health issues and lost their jobs when pushed off the limits by their bullies. Many corporate honchos are emphasizing on the need to create codes of practice and guidelines for their employees. The human resources department can play a pivotal role in amending wrong practices and beliefs to provide a healthy environment for all.

One major reason behind the rise in cases of bullying is the feeling of insecurity. It has been widely observed that it is generally the high performing employees who become victims of bullying as they pose to be a threat to others. This practice, if not checked on time, can inflict a loss on the company as well. Being mentally distressed, victims start avoiding the workplace by taking frequent leaves and this naturally increases the cost burden of the organization.

Pulling the plugs on bullying

Besides the structural changes and incorporation of guidelines in companies, there are laws like the Protected Disclosures Act of 2014 to address the challenge of workplace bullying without revealing the identity of the victim. By allowing a third party to represent the victim’s case, the law does not disrupt his or her career. It saves the person from going through a harrowing time that takes a heavy toll on his or her mental health. With the increased media coverage of bullying at work, there is more solidarity with the targeted staff members than before.

If you or your loved one is suffering from any kind of mental health issues, contact the Arizona Mental Health Helpline to know more about the mental health treatment centers in Arizona. Call at our 24/7 mental health helpline 866-606-7791 or chat online for more information.

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