Times are hard, we are all stressed out, the last thing we need to do is take it out on each other. Don’t worry I am not going to ask you to hold hands and sing kumbaya. I just want you to take a couple of minutes and think about how you treat others, and how others treat you. Take some time to read this great Code of Conduct for Staff & Supervisors, every library should have one.
If you are a manager it is your responsibility to prevent workplace bullying. If you are a recipient of bullying, you are not alone, take action. If you are a witness to workplace bullying, you can do something about it. I know many people would say right now you should just be happy if you have a job. But bullying is never ok. Unfortunately bullies often get away with their behavior because it doesn’t qualify as a hostile work environment. According to Create a Bully-Free Workplace from on Harvard Business Review:
A startling 37% of American workers — roughly 54 million people — have been bullied at work according to a 2007 survey by the Workplace Bullying Institute. The consequences of such bullying spreading to the targets’ families, coworkers, and organizations. Costs include reduced creativity, low morale, and increased turnover — all factors that weigh heavily on the bottom line. Among targets of bullying, 40% never told their employers and, of those who did, 62% reported that they were ignored.
Managers take note a bully free work environment affects more than the mood in the office
Workplace bullying directly impacts the bottom line by affecting productivity, wellness (with subsequent rise in employer benefit costs), attrition, attraction and retention. – HBR
The article focuses on bosses that bully and offers some suggestions for managers to help prevent hiring bosses that will be bullies.
- When hiring managers, set the bar high with regard to interpersonal skills and leadership experience.
- Help new managers feel comfortable in their high-power roles.
- Remind managers to focus on core values.
- Design jobs in such a way as to avoid heaping unrealistic expectations onto individual leaders.
- Educate yourself and your managers about the psychological consequences of power.
Unfortunately bosses are not the only bullies in the work place. This post, Bullies At Work, offers some suggestions for recipients of workplace bullies
- Don’t take it personally.
- Get help. Talk to someone about the bullying, even if it’s a friend, family member or co-worker.
- Find out your organization’s policy about bullying.
- Remember you have choices.
The New York Times offers a quiz to determine if you’ve been bullied at work.
Even if there is no bullying in your workplace take a couple of minutes to think of little things you could do to lessen stress.
More reading and resources
- On Kindness, Libraries & the Big Picture – A TTW Guest Post by Kate Sheehan
- When the Bully Sits in the Next Cubicle
- Have You Been Bullied at Work?
- Meet the Work Bully
- Create a Bully-Free Workplace
- How to Stop “Mean Girls” in the Workplace
- Backlash: Women Bullying Women at Work
- The No Asshole Rule: Building a Civilized Workplace and Surviving One That Isn’t
- The Bully at Work: What You Can Do to Stop the Hurt and Reclaim Your Dignity on the Job
- Is Your Boss a Bully? Take This Test.
- Bully for you: Intimidation at work
- Bullies At Work
- Work Place Bullying Institute
- Workplace Bullying In Academia: A Canadian Study
- Work Bullying Linked With Poor Sleep
Creative Commons licensed image used courtesy of HeyThereSpaceman