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Workplace Bullying Arthur Breese M.S., M.A. James Calderone, EdD

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Presentation on theme: "Workplace Bullying Arthur Breese M.S., M.A. James Calderone, EdD"— Presentation transcript:

1 Workplace Bullying Arthur Breese M.S., M.A. James Calderone, EdD
Berwick Area School District

2 Icebreaker Find the person you least know in the room
Introduce yourself to your partner (Name, organization, your function in the organization etc.) Discuss a time when you have been bullied or you have witnessed an act of bullying What did you do?

3 Session Outline The Phenomenon The Perpetrators Who Gets Bullied
Why Bullying Happens Impact on People Impact on Organizations Solutions

4 Workplace Bullying Workplace bullying defined as:
Repeated health-harming mistreatment of one or more persons (the target) Done by one or more perpetrators Takes one of the following forms: Verbal abuse Threatening, humiliating, or offensive behavior / actions Work interference sabotage – which prevents work from getting done

5 Workplace Bullying Harassment Illegal discrimination
Offensive and unwelcome conduct Adversely affects the terms and conditions of the person’s employment Usually occurs because of the person’s protected class (race, gender/sex, national origin, religion, disability etc.)

6 Workplace Bullying

7 Workplace Bullying

8 Workplace Bullying Retaliation
Occurs after a person makes a complaint of illegal discrimination Becomes the subject of an adverse employment action or subjected to harassment because he/she made the complaint WORKPLACE BULLYING in general is not ILLEGAL

9 Workplace Bullying . . . Is driven by the perpetrators need to control the targeted individuals Is initiated by bullies who choose targets, timing, place, and methods Escalates to involve others who side with the bully, either voluntarily through coercion Undermines legitimate business interests when bullies’ personal agendas take precedence over work itself

10 Adult Bullies Adult bullies, like their schoolyard counterparts, tend to be insecure people with poor or non-existent social skills and little empathy They turn this insecurity outwards, finding satisfaction in their ability to diminish the capable people around them

11 Workplace Bullying is also referred to as . . .
Psychological abuse Psychological harassment “Status blind” harassment Mobbing Sub-lethal, non-physical workplace violence Generalized workplace abuse / mistreatment

12 Statistics on Workplace Bullying – A Study of Self-Identified Targets
As bullies As targets Bullying women Bullying men As bullies As targets Bullying women Bullying men

13 Statistics on Workplace Bullying – A Study of Self-Identified Targets
As bullies As targets Bullying women Bullying men As bullies As targets Bullying women Bullying men

14 Statistics on Workplace Bullying – A Study of Self-Identified Targets
84% of targets describe themselves as college educated 31% 36% 10% 12% 11% Non-Profit Gov’t Corporate Other Small Business The mean work experience was 21.4 years in the workplace 6.7 years with the current employer ANIMATION: 1st click – 84% of targets… 

15 Workplace Bullies 71% of the time bullies are of higher rank than the target (another study identifies 605 as supervisors) Only 23% of the time do they bully alone An average of 3.5 people are enlisted to help Women bullies are more likely (68%) to torment more than a single target than men bullies (62%)

16 Workplace Bullying Over Time
Respondents in two surveys indicated that they endured bullying for 18.6 months and 16.5 months Chronic abuse over two years in duration show even deeper and more far-ranging effects

17 Experiences Outside of Work – You are Probably Bullied When …
You throw up the night before work Everyone is fed up with you obsessing about work at home Your doctor tells you to change jobs because of blood pressure and health problems

18 Tactics Used by Workplace Bullies
Blame for “errors” Unreasonable job demands Criticism of ability Inconsistent compliance with rules Threaten job loss Insults and put-downs Discounting / Denial of accomplishments Yelling, screaming Exclusion, “icing out” Stealing credit

19 The Screaming Mimi

20 The Screaming Mimi Prefers public setting to affect shame
Intimidates to instill fear in target and witnesses Yells, curses, screams to mask incompetence Makes physical threats Invades personal space

21 The Constant Critic

22 The Constant Critic Prefers 1-on-1, private settings for deniability
Destroys confidence in demonstrated competence Lies about performance appraisal Thoroughly de-humanizes, is contemptuous

23 The Two-Headed Snake

24 The Two-Headed Snake Jekyll-Hyde, passive-aggressive backstabber
Manages image as seen from above, terrorizes individuals below Difficult to detect Controls target’s reputation

25 The Gatekeeper

26 The Gatekeeper Denies / Blocks resources needed for success
Unrealistic deadlines No training budget or help from others No accommodations for physician orders Disruption of family / health obligations

27 Workplace Bullying by Race
Bullied Now Been Bullied Combined Witnessed No Bullying Experience Hispanic 12.7% 23.5% 40.2% 12.3% 51.4% African-American 11% 27.6% 38.6% 7.9% 51.5% White 25.7% 33.6% 16.8% 49.6% Asian 3.8% 9.7% 13.5% 37.6% 48.9% 2010 8.8% 34.5% 15.5%

28 Workplace Bullying – Sexual Orientation
1 in 5 lesbian and gay people have experienced workplace bullying from colleagues because of their sexual orientation (Stonewall Research and Policy) 13% of the workforce has witnessed verbal homophobic bullying in the workplace 4% of the national workforce has witnessed physical homophobic bullying at work Research has found that gay staff who can be out at work in a safe environment are more productive than their gay colleagues who are in the “closet”

29 IMPACT on People

30 Cost of Bullying Understanding the costs of bullying can be worthwhile for unions and employers – the costs of bullying are multidimensional Identify potential costs for: A – Toll on bystanders B – Value’s toll on target C – Tangible cost D – Intangible cost

31 Cost of Bullying – Toll on Bystanders
Suffer deterioration of their work place environment and fear being the bully’s next target Internal confusion and anger at being forced to ostracize and / or dehumanize others and choose between self and others Altered mentality – justifying situations that create hostility and abuse by copying the behavior of the bully Decreased job satisfaction and commitment Possible loss of life if target resorts to violence

32 Cost of Bullying – Value’s Toll on Target
Will catastrophize – where targets freeze themselves getting caught up in worst-case thinking Fear of living life itself leading to suicide or complete restructuring of core personality Loss of faith in self, higher power, or community at large Loss of trust making interactions with family and friends difficult Desire to cocoon self to protect energy and feelings Loss of work, outside friends, and family members due to withdrawal and others getting compassion fatigue continued >>

33 Cost of Bullying – Value’s Toll on Target
Everyone is fed up with the target obsessing about work Days off spent exhausted and lifeless All desire lost Target suffers permanent damage to reputation Loss of security and safety Co-worker isolation from fear Families and co-workers encourage compromise with bully and resent if no compromise is found Wavering support from family Children / Friends outside work show strain

34 Cost of Bullying – Tangible Costs
Increased sickness and 26% higher absenteeism and presenteeism Reduced performance / productivity including damage to equipment Increased mistakes and accidents More premature retirements and higher turnover requiring more recruitment, training, and advertising Increased payments for Workers’ Compensation benefits, disability, and healthcare benefits Increased health and social welfare costs More expensive grievance, litigation, compensation, and liability insurance

35 Cost of Bullying – Intangible Costs
Loss of morale, negative public relations Talent flight where the best and brightest leave or are driven out Loss of reputation and service capacity due to employee theft Higher staff resistance to management initiatives

36 Individuals Pay the Price – For Unsolicited Targethood
Health impairment Loss of social support Economic harm



39 Psychological / Emotional Impact
Induced clinical depression Anxiety / Panic attacks 39% 85% Post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) 30% of targeted men 21% of targeted women Betrayal / injustice / assault on dignity Shame and guilt WBI

40 Environments that Traumatize
Provide little predictability or control Present an intense, overwhelming threat Destroy a sense of security and safety

41 Individuals Pay the Price – For Unsolicited Targethood
Health impairment Loss of social support Economic harm

42 Co-Worker Inaction Everyone FEARS being next
Witnesses agree about circumstances but don’t share, silence prevails – Abilene paradox Cliques pursue passive-aggressive self-interest groupthink Many side with aggressor

43 What Co-Workers Do and Don’t Do
WBI Labor Day 2008

44 Individuals Pay the Price – For Unsolicited Targethood
Health impairment Loss of social support Economic harm

45 What Stops the Bullying?
WBI U.S. Natl 2010

46 $$$ Impact on Organizations

47 Workplace Bullying – Organizational Culture
Can and does create an environment that allows and encourages bullying Win/Lose Culture – Everyone is out for himself / herself, and withholding information from colleagues is common; it’s usually a highly competitive environment Blame Culture – Causes individuals to be afraid to step out of line for fear of being blamed for doing something wrong Sacrifice Culture – Requires people to put their jobs before their personal lives to the extent that they may become ill

48 Tangible Employer Costs
Turnover and replacement costs Absenteeism and presenteeism Fatigued-caused errors and accidents Suspended interdependent team productivity Litigation and settlement expenses Workers’ Compensation / disability

49 Workplace Bullying Bullying as defined by law, means an intentional electronic, written, verbal of physical act or series of acts directed at another student, parent, employee or board member, that is severe, persistent or pervasive and has the effect of doing any of the following: Interfering with a student’s education, employee’s job performance, or board member’s governance ability Creating a threatening environment Substantial disruption of the orderly operation of the school/ district This policy includes cyberbullying.

50 Workplace Bullying Legislation was introduced to the PA house in December 2013 For The Healthy Workplace Bill

51 Bully Free at Work : the Facts on Workplace Bullying


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