Regaining Productivity Lost to Workplace Bullying & Abuse

by Jul 16, 2012

In respectful workplaces, employees are more productive because they are more focused in their work. In non-respectful workplaces, the employees’ productivity may suffer as they become distracted by job security, personal financial issues, and the emotional symptoms associated with bullying and abuse. This article introduces a game to help avoid workplace bullying.

DURING an economic downturn when organizations are forced to restructure in order to survive and grow, it is easy to lose sight of the human side of change. Imposed change can lead to a dramatic increase in workplace bullying and abuse as employees become fearful of job security and changes to their job descriptions. When organisations are looking for cost savings, it would be disappointing to see those cost savings lost to the costly negative effects of workplace bullying and abuse.

A study by the United States Bureau of National Affairs concluded that the loss in productivity due to workplace bullying is five- to six-billion United States dollars a year, and a study in the United Kingdom put the number in that country at 1.3-billion pounds.

Instead, organisations could look to increasing productivity and generating competitive edge by developing respectful workplaces. These are workplaces where employees look forward to coming to work and performing the duties they are paid to do.

In respectful workplaces, employees can be more productive because they are more focused in their work. In non-respectful workplaces, the employees’ productivity is likely to suffer as they become distracted by job security, personal financial issues, and the physical and emotional symptoms associated with bullying and abuse.

This article presents a case for reducing workplace bullying and abuse through positive intervention utilising game-play and “The Respectful Workplace Game”, which teaches and promotes workplace respect. Game-play is shown to be an excellent method for addressing bullying and abuse in the workplace because it offers exceptional learning transfer, is non-confrontational, non-threatening, and is cost effective.

About Catherine Mattice

Catherine Mattice, 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.

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