Workplace bullying is repeated and unreasonable behaviour that can result in irreparable harm to an employee. It includes:
1. abusive or offensive language or comments
2. aggressive and intimidating behaviour
3. belittling or humiliating comments
4. practical jokes or initiation
5. unjustified criticism or complaints.
The risks include anxiety, stress, burnout, cardiovascular disease, and physical symptoms such as ulcers.
Because psychological damage results in physical and psychological distress, it is costly to both the employee and employer. Workplace bullying costs organisations in terms of higher attrition, the risk of costly lawsuits, and negative publicity.
Interventions can include workplace training, hiring a consultant, providing counselling interventions, and allowing for open communication. Safe Work Australia provides more insight into this.
Have you been a victim of workplace bullying?
Check out this article on bullying in The Conversation.