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Long-term consequences of workplace bullying

Bullying is a widespread problem and unfortunately not only confined to the schoolyard. For adults, workplace bullying may have detrimental effects on individual productivity, and, in severe cases, even on health, sickness absence, and workforce participation. Sickness absence does not only affect the individual. Prolonged sickness absence is costly for both firms in terms of lost productivity, and for society in terms of increased need for sickness benefit transfers.

If you’re a target of bullies in the workplace, you probably start each week with a pit of anxiety in your stomach. Then, you count down the days until the weekend or next vacation. Inappropriate behavior by adult bullies may include:

Berating people

Stealing credit

Excluding others

Making snide remarks

Threatening others

Unfair criticism

The effects of workplace bullying don’t end when you leave the office. Being a victim of bullying can cause physical and psychological health problems, including:

Stress

Anxiety

Panic attacks

Trouble sleeping

Higher blood pressure

Ulcers

Bullied workers can’t perform their jobs to the best of their ability. Performance issues include:

Having trouble making decisions

Incapacity to work or concentrate

A loss of self-esteem

Lower productivity

It’s always in your best interest to confront workplace bullying and maintain a bullying-free workplace because prevention is more cost-effective than intervention or mediation. It’s also the right thing to do if care about your employees. Employers must offer education opportunities for managers, supervisors, and other authority figures because the majority of workplace bullying comes from bullying bosses. Strive to create a workplace environment that cultivates teamwork, cooperation, and positive interaction instead.

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