PDC offers workshop on preventing bullying in the workplace
11/23/2010One of the biggest news stories of 2010 has been the nation’s focus on bullying in schools and the severe, often fatal, outcomes of bullying. As an illustration of it's impact, the state of New Jersey approved legislation this week, on Tuesday, November 23, that contains some of the strongest anti-bullying legislation in the nation. If signed by the governor, the legislation will give schools and victims of bullying new legal tools to report harassment and new steps to prosecute those allegedly responsible.
Bullying isn’t only found on the playgrounds, in cyberspace, or in our middle and high schools. Bullying in the workplace is a growing concern, with some studies estimating that 25% of the workforce has experienced bullying at some point on the job. Workplace bullies can be difficult to identify because their behavior is often covert and because they tend not to violate established policies. Workplace bullying can account for productivity loss, increased attrition rates, physical harm to workers and the potential for company liability.
What do you do if you think the schoolyard bully is all grown up – and on your staff?
The Professional Development Center (PDC) offers a half-day workshop on December 8, 2010 entitled “Bullying at Work” designed to help you learn about different types of bullying and the effects bullying can have on its targets, the organizational culture and the bottom line. This workshop also identifies ways employees, employers and human resource professionals can identify potential bullying warning signs and come up with solutions.
Christopher de Mers, SPHR, instructor for “Bullying at Work,” offers the following points to preview what participants can expect from the workshop.
- Bullies defy stereotypes."Successful workplace bullies are clever and often veil their intent with ‘appropriate’ behavior. The subtlety of an off-hand remark. The innocuous remark during an important client visit. That oh-so-important e-mail that 'unfortunately' did not get sent to you. Today’s workplace bullies are slick, sophisticated and cool – and bent on proving their value by showing your lack of worth. Learn how to recognize the subtle signs of bullying and address counterproductive behavior at an early age.”
- There’s a line between assertive behavior and bullying. “In today’s competitive times, companies sometimes bend the rules of appropriate workplace behavior, especially if the person committing such acts is perceived as a winner or contributor to the business. Add in the specter of an economic climate that is unfavorable and you have a recipe for disaster when it comes to allowing abusive behavior. But you don’t have to be a victim; in this workshop learn the difference between what is assertive and appropriate and what is aggressive, abusive, or even bullying.”
- Signs of bullying can be confusing. “Consistent behavior of the following types are classic examples of bullying behavior:
- Verbal abuse including foul language, name calling, yelling and talking over you.
- Psychological gamesmanship including belittling, questioning and repeated requests for re-work.
- Physical challenges including invading personal space and behaving in a threatening manner.
- Damaging gossip, innuendo and public speculation about your professional competency or personal behavior.”