Bad economy breeding ‘ruthless’ workplace bullies

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The economic climate is creating perfect conditions for workplace bullying to move into more ‘ruthless’ territory, according to an expert.
 
Alberta-based workplace bullying expert Linda Crocket has said bullying is on the rise across the country, at the same time as the job market worsens.
 
In an interview on Saskatoon Morning, Crocket said employees are currently worried about cutbacks and are beset by fear over losing their jobs.
 
“It creates an environment of paranoia and competition, and people are becoming ruthless to get what they want and they’re getting away with it.”
 
Crocket, who is the executive director of Alberta Bullying Research, Resources and Recover, said modern workplaces are breeding grounds for bullying.
 
She said that staff are working in increasingly high pressure environments, with economic pressures meaning they were forced to do more with less.
 
This could actually be costing companies in ways they do not control. She named lost productivity, legal settlements, and medical and insurance costs.
 
The result could also be a perfect storm for HR, which are likely to be the first port of call for employees who wish to complain of being bullied.
 
Crocket suggested some of the common behaviors to watch out for.
 
"They're using tactics to abuse other people in very subtle ways. Excluding people, isolating people, ostracizing them, basically," she said.
 
A Conference Board of Canada report released earlier this year said a definition of bullying needs to be established and understood within organizations.
 
According to The Globe and Mail, the report’s authors suggest it is usually degrading, intentional, cumulative, associated with a power imbalance and exacerbated by slow and ineffective management actions or processes.
 
The report agreed competitive pressures and workplace stress were major contributors to bullying when employees were being pushed hard.
 
 
  • Victim of Bullying on 2015-09-03 8:50:13 AM

    I agree with everything written here, however I have repeatedly witnessed employees bullied and threatened by HR. Not much you can do when it comes from them.

  • Sharon Cramer on 2015-09-03 9:21:36 PM

    In Manitoba, there is no requirement that HR practitioners be regulated, and no recourse for employees who have made formal complaints that were not responded to with a credible investigation. HR practitioners with integrity should be lobbying for increased accountability that includes an element of professionalism rather than being satisfied that their work is being devalued and discredited by irresponsible and unaccountable practitioners.

  • Sharon Cramer on 2015-09-03 9:32:53 PM

    In Manitoba, there is no requirement that HR practitioners be regulated, and no recourse for employees who have made formal complaints that were not responded to with a credible investigation. HR practitioners with integrity should be lobbying for increased accountability that includes an element of professionalism rather than being satisfied that their work is being devalued and discredited by irresponsible and unaccountable practitioners.

  • Glory Borgeson on 2015-09-04 10:35:44 AM

    This is a good, informative article! I'm glad the author, Ben Abbott, mentioned how employees who bully others are using subtle methods.

    The covert, subtle methods of bullying others in the workplace is just as destructive and stressful as the obvious methods. It could be even more stressful because hardly anyone else will notice it. If you are treated in such a way, your colleagues might not believe you if you tell them.

    I became so concerned about the effects of this type of bullying that I wrote a book to help the targets titled "Not All Bullies Yell and Throw Things: How to Survive a Subtle Workplace Bully".

    It is available in Kindle format on Amazon.ca

    BTW, you don't need a Kindle to read Kindle books! Amazon has a free app that you can download to any device (PC, tablet, phone, etc.) to use to read Kindle books. See this link for Amazon's free app:
    http://amzn.to/1bjiCo6

    No one should have to tolerate being bullied at work, not in subtle ways and not even during a tight economy!

    ~Glory Borgeson

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