Bullying is present in schools and in the workplace. Both school officials and business leaders are facing this problem. Office bullying is defined by verbal abuse, threatening behavior, intimidation, or public humiliation. The end result is that employees lose their morale and their work output suffers.
“The environment has a lot to do with why someone bullies,” says Catherine Mattice, president of Civility Partners, an organization that promotes positive workplaces. “Bullies don’t exist in a vacuum.” Heavily bureaucratic organizations promote bullying, as do fiercely competitive or rapidly changing ones. Weak leaders who don’t take a stance on bullying can also allow it to thrive. “As a leader, you have the ability to craft a culture,” Mattice says. Here are four ways to prevent bullying before it starts.