Bullying behavior can take a tremendous toll on targets and witnesses—causing depression, burnout, and even symptoms of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, or PTSD. Organizations with employees that report bullying behavior commonly experience reductions in work quality and production, as well as decreased employee collaboration, safety, loyalty, and retention. Investigators are sometimes called upon to investigate alleged bullying behavior, and those who serve in HR roles or as employee trainers and coaches may be asked to assist organizations in implementing corrective action.
There is clear legal guidance as well as clear definitions when investigating harassment or discrimination complaints. However, “bullying” is typically not legally prohibited and is often more subjective behavior, so there is less guidance for determining whether bullying behavior has occurred or for corrective actions an organization can take when it exists. Compounding the problem is the lack of common nomenclature used to describe bullying—which can include abusive conduct, emotional abuse, and aggression—along with the fact that most employers are not savvy
in addressing it.
This article assists investigators and organizations in identifying
and correcting bullying behavior by:
- Defining bullying;
- Describing categories of bullying behavior to assist in identifying it;
- Providing guidance for investigating allegations of workplace bullying; and
- Offering advice for organizations to help manage and minimize workplace bullying.
Read the rest of the article (and the Association for Workplace Investigators Journal) here.