Cyber-Bulling: The Latest Weapon of the Workplace Bully

by Oct 30, 2013Workplace bullying0 comments

Cyber-Bullying and the Workplace

 

Social media has become a popular platform for bullying and harassment to occur. Unfortunately, the truth is that cyber-bullying is easier than traditional bullying. People who cyber-bully have anonymity, being able to hide their face.

To make problems worse, Facebook posts and Tweets are permanent and can reach  a wide audience causing big drama. What does all this have to do with your workplace? Cyber-bullying among your employees can result to a Title VII claim against your business if they aren’t dealt with. It can wreak havoc in your workplace and disturb the working atmosphere.

Bullying does not exist only on playgrounds and schools. It carries well over to adulthood and is present in the workplace. About thirty-five percent of adults in the United States reported for workplace bullying. This is a staggering number — about 54 million workers.

Tips to Prevent Cyber-Bullying

  1. The first step is to recognize the situation. Cyber-bullying is online harassment. It is critical that you do not associate or respond to the person. Engaging with a bully will only make matters worse.
  2. Make a copy of all the threatening messages and photos the bully sends. The easiest way to do this is to take a screenshot of the webpage at where the issue is occurring.
  3. Contact and notify the website operator of that page via phone and email. Explain that you are filing a police report with your local police department and insist that the content be taken down immediately.
  4. Not all police departments have “internet crime divisions” so unless the person has threatened your life, they may not be able to get involved.

Although these tips are for the individual, your company can use these guidelines to help individuals that are victims of cyber-bullying. In the end, the lawsuit may fall on you for not taking actions and creating a safe working environment for your employees.

About Catherine Mattice Zundel

Catherine Mattice Zundel, MA, SPHR, SHRM-SCP is President of consulting and training firm, Civility Partners, and has been successfully providing programs in workplace bullying and building positive workplaces since 2007. Her clients include Fortune 500’s, the military, several universities and hospitals, government agencies, small businesses and nonprofits. She has published in a variety of trade magazines and has appeared several times on NPR, FOX, NBC, and ABC as an expert, as well as in USA Today, Inc Magazine, Huffington Post, Entrepreneur Magazine, and more. Catherine is Past-President of the Association for Talent Development (ATD), San Diego Chapter and teaches at National University. In his book foreword, Ken Blanchard called her book, BACK OFF! Your Kick-Ass Guide to Ending Bullying at Work, “the most comprehensive and valuable handbook on the topic.” She recently released a second book entitled, SEEKING CIVILITY: How Leaders, Managers and HR Can Create a Workplace Free of Bullying.

[Webinar] End Your Week With Allyship

First and foremost, I want to acknowledge our team member, Rebecca Del Secco, who was a top five finalist in the Employee of the Year category at the Business Excellence Forum and Awards (BizX). BizX is a global event with speakers like Seth Godin and Marcus...

Encourage PTO Use for May: Mental Health Awareness Month

It’s been over a year since the entire world shut down, and finally there’s a light at the end of the tunnel - but we aren’t out of the woods just yet. Employees are burnt out at exponential levels, whether they’ve been on the front lines (shoutout to essential...

11 Ways to Celebrate Women’s History Month

Last month we sent out a list of 12 ways to celebrate Black History Month with your workforce. Now that it’s Women’s History Month, we’ve revised the list for you. In addition to the list below, I also suggest attending a webinar I’m doing with an employment law...

Celebrate Women’s Month by Addressing COVID’s Impact on Women

Do an internet search on the impact of COVID for women, and you’ll find many (hundreds? thousands?) articles from high-powered consulting firms, respected journalists and media venues, bloggers, vloggers, social media influencers, your neighbors, cousins, and working...

27 Employer Branding Ideas for Social Media

Recently my friend, Steve Bellach from Bottomline Marketing, and I did a webinar on employer branding. Employer brand is just like your customer brand, but rather than focused on customers, it’s focused on potential candidates out there in the world and current...

3 Things You Didn’t Know About Teasing

I love a good sarcastic and witty comment. The resulting laughter is good for the soul and for the team – it promotes happy hormones and bonding. Teasing others often signals liking and (work appropriate) affection. If you tease a co-worker in the right ways, it...

12 Ways to Celebrate Black History Month With Your Workforce

Black History Month is meant to recognize the contributions this community has made to the United States and reflect on our country’s continued struggle with racial injustice. It’s a time for everyone - whether you identify as Black or not – to think about how to...

Some SHOCKING STATS About Toxic Work Cultures

According to the Society for Human Resources Management’s (SHRM) 2019 literature review on the costs of toxic workplace cultures and the benefits of positive cultures, more than 85% of American workers who say their organization has a strong workplace culture admit...

2 Ways Your Organization Facilitates Harassment & Bullying

As an executive coach who specializes in coaching leaders who engage in bullying, I get the opportunity to dig deep into the minds of abrasive and aggressive people at work.   It’s a place most HR professionals and leaders don’t venture but I thoroughly enjoy coaching...

30 Ways To Bring Your Core Values To Life

Include your values graphic on your company’s “about” page. Weave values into your jobs portal or applicant tracking system. Include a link to information about your values in your online job postings. This is a great tool to get some less desirable applicants to...