According to a 2019 Monster.com survey, 94% of over 2,000 employees had suffered bullying in the workplace. This was a 19% increase over 2008.
Employment coach Lynne Curry lists five steps for leaders to address bullying:
- Be respectful to all employees.
- Have an anti-bullying policy or a code of conduct defining how to treat co-workers and customers with respect. Employees should be able to report bullying without fearing retaliation.
- Establish a viable, confidential grievance channel staffed by someone trained to recognize legitimate concerns.
- Intervene when anti-bullying policies aren't followed. Have an impartial investigation. Use interviews and surveys for employee feedback.
- Train managers and staff on how to handle bullies without becoming agressive.
Besides the human costs of bullying, there are financial costs to an organization - lawsuits, increased absence and loss of reputation due to a toxic work environment. In contrast, an organization that supports its employees and encourages mutual respect will be recognized as a good place to work.