How Corporate Bullying Affects Individuals and Organizations
  • 2024-05-12
  • Hopearay

Recognising and Combating Corporate Bullying

A survey revealed that almost 55% of Indian workers are bullied at their workplace. Workplace bullying involves behaviour that may comprise aggression and intimidation characterised by persistence and unequal power relationships. The stereotypical image of a bully might be a loud, aggressive kid on the playground. But bullying thrives in other environments too, including the seemingly professional world of corporate offices. This pervasive issue, known as corporate bullying, can have serious consequences for both the target and the organization as a whole.

Corporate Bullying is repetitive, unreasonable behavior directed towards an employee or group of employees that creates a hostile work environment. Unlike a one-time outburst, bullying is a systematic pattern that undermines a person's sense of self-worth and job security.

Red flags of corporate bullying

  1. Verbal abuse: Yelling, insults, sarcasm, and constant criticism.
  2. Threats and intimidation: Subtle or overt threats regarding job security or career advancement
  3. Public humiliation: Belittling remarks in meetings or emails, sabotaging presentations.
  4. Unrealistic workloads: Assigning overwhelming tasks with impossible deadlines.
  5. Social exclusion: Deliberately isolating someone from colleagues and projects.
  6. Taking credit for work: Stealing ideas and achievements from others.

Different Forms of Abuse

Bullies come in all shapes and sizes, and their tactics can be subtle or overt. Here are some of the different forms corporate bullying can take:

◘ The Screamer: This bully uses intimidation tactics, relying on yelling and aggression to control others.

◘ The Micromanager: This bully exerts excessive control, fault-finding and hovering over every detail of the target's work.

◘ The Narcissist: This bully feels entitled and superior, constantly demeaning and undermining their target's contributions.

◘ The Gatekeeper: This bully withholds information and resources, hindering the target's ability to perform their job effectively.

Impact of Corporate Bullying: 

The effects of corporate bullying can be devastating and severe. Targets of bullying may experience:

    1. Anxiety and depression

      2. Low self-esteem

        3. Difficulty concentrating

          4. Physical health problems

            5. Decreased productivity and morale

              6. High employee-turnover rate

              This exodus of talent hurts the organization's morale, productivity, and reputation.

              Breaking the Silence

              Many victims of corporate bullying suffer in silence, fearing retaliation from the bully or a lack of support from HR. However, there are steps employees can take:

              ◘ Document everything: Keep a detailed record of incidents, dates, times, witnesses, and specific examples of bullying behavior.
              ◘ Report the abuse: Bring the issue to the attention of HR or a trusted supervisor.
              ◘ Seek support: Talk to colleagues, friends, or a therapist. There are also organizations that provide resources and guidance to victims of bullying.

              Creating a Culture of Respect

              The responsibility for preventing corporate bullying lies not just with the victims but also with the organization. Companies can foster a respectful work environment by:

              ◘ Implementing clear anti-bullying policies: These policies should outline what constitutes bullying and how to report it.
              ◘ Providing training: Educate managers and employees on how to identify and address bullying.
              ◘ Promoting open communication: Encourage employees to speak up about concerns without fear of reprisal.

              By taking a proactive stance against corporate bullying, organizations can create a healthier and more productive work environment for everyone.

              Connect to Hopearay for the mental health counselling.


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