Workplace Bullying: Are Employers Turning a Blind Eye?

11th June 2010

Office managers are the eyes and ears of their organisation. They should possess multitasking skills and keep the office running in an efficient manner. They are trained on office policies and procedure, but some are choosing to ignore a disturbing trend that is coming to the forefront, as they are ill-equipped to handle it.

Bullying tactics are increasing in the workplace; competition to not only get a job , but also retain it is a very real fear among co-workers, sometimes bringing out the “shark” in people, especially if they are prone to this type of behaviour. However, employers frequently ignore it because there are no clear-cut rules regarding this behaviour, citing that this is a “grey” area.

Former exemplary employees state that they felt “adrift” by their bosses who downplayed their complaint, stating they felt they had no choice but to quit, rather than face their tormentors.

The confusion seems to lie in when managers should step into the fray, hoping that the situation will resolve itself on its own. The real loser is the company. The office bully saps moral, and in extreme cases, cause their targets to feel that they have no recourse, but to resign.

Great managers are natural leaders and problem solvers. Perhaps paying attention to the office dynamics and noticing patterns of negative behaviour will enable them to get on top of problem employees-before the situation escalates.

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