Calling out the Workplace Bullies
We all need to be calling out workplace bullying, we all need to stop being afraid but there is no doubt that people need to be empowered and feel safe enough to speak out and feel we will be listened to. The question is always, why say something if it will go nowhere and if nothing will be done. We are all very much aware that too often, the people who complain or raise their heads above the parapet are seen to be making a fuss. Some people expend more energy telling victims to be quiet and stop making waves than they spend listening or investigating. Many victims of bullying say that it is so emotionally exhausting.
Bullies rely on the culture and the authority and power of their networks to do what they do and many get away with it until they do it to the wrong person or one day the stories come out as in #Ellengate or Roger Ailes. Following the #MeToo movement, many businesses have their hearts broken by these tales and their eyes opened and are anxious that such heinous conduct does not occur in their business so there is hope.
But that hope wholly depends on awareness, willingness and the tools to deal with or ensure environments that preclude such toxicity from strong self aware leaders and many leaders I meet are anxious to make the culture and social environmental changes required to do so.
This is a real and serious problem not just for the employees but for the businesses which lose money to inefficiencies, lack of productivity, demoralised staff and people leaving. The cost of bullying in the UK alone exceeds £5bn. Consider the impact of bullying when lives are at risk in a medical setting, and it’s clear to see that calling out workplace bullying is increasingly necessary.