Workplace bullying, although less featured in the media, is gaining more attention as people begin to understand its prevalence and impact on workplace culture and overall financial performance. A Career Builder study found that one in four workers has felt bullied in the workplace.
Are you concerned about disruptive behavior, abrasive leaders, or bullying behavior in your organization?
Are you worried about escalations, outbursts, or threats?
Some states have proposed legislation to lend guidance on this type of “equal opportunity harassment” to take a firm stance on the unacceptable behaviors of bullying. Even experienced leaders grapple with how to digest and address the many shapes and forms of disruptive behavior and workplace bullying.
What is bullying?
Different from disrespectful behavior, bullying behaviors are recurring, targeted, and abusive; this type of repeated mistreatment affects one’s emotional and physical wellbeing.
From an organizational lens, bullying behaviors create a culture where people become anxious and afraid to speak up. The impact of workplace bullying takes a toll not only on those who experience it, but also on the organizational culture, performance, and safety.
Bullying can take place at all levels in an organization — both lateral and hierarchical. In healthcare settings, academic medicine, and higher education environments it can thrive in the power differentials inherent in the structure of these types of organizations.
Difficulty in Identifying and Addressing Bullying
We know that identifying and addressing bullying behaviors is much more difficult than one might expect. People who use bully behaviors are often well-accomplished and highly-valuable individuals to the organization. And, they can be well-versed in how and when to use bullying behaviors to their advantage.
Tough Boss vs. Bully Boss
Going further, discerning between a tough boss and a bully boss is a critical yet delicate analysis to ensure healthy and high-performing teams. A tough boss maintains high standards for all, is non-emotional and puts the good of the organization first. A bully boss is inconsistent, unpredictable, emotional, and puts personal self-interest ahead of all else.
Value of an Expert
Addressing disruptive behavior and workplace bullying goes well beyond the simplicity of calling a concern into a compliance hotline. While safe and non-retaliatory reporting is needed, the ability to properly assess and handle these concerns is even more important.
Recipients of bullying and other disruptive behavior reports should be educated and trained on the complexities of such behavior, the impact it has on the workplace, and strategic interventions.
Build a Better Culture brings expertise to this work as a neutral third party who can assess the concerns and calibrate the impact on culture. Our methods are rooted in research, data from years of practice, and deep experience working with executive leadership in health care and higher education settings.
Build a Better Culture helps you effectively communicate critical messages to address concerns and lead in a way that is aligned with your values. We:
Conduct disruptive behavior audits anchored by our Impact of Disruptive Behaviors at Work Continuum™
Help you understand and calibrate the impact of unprofessional and disruptive behaviors on your workplace culture