Training the bully out of the workplace

Bullying can just as easily happen in the workplace as it can on the playground.

Bullying can be as damaging to one's career as it can be to a child's self-esteem. It prevents individuals from feeling comfortable, safe and confident to be themselves and pursue their own professional development.

This can just as easily happen in an office as on a school playground. With the advent of social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter, co-workers can bully one another outside of the workplace, as well. But, regardless of where it happens, the ramifications are often far-reaching.

When an employee is demeaned, intimidated and harassed by a co-worker or supervisor, they may choose to shy away from confrontation. Instead, they'll likely do their best to fade into the company background and go unnoticed so as not to incur the ire of a bully. This in turn stifles innovation and prevents team members from achieving their full potential, hurting the company as a whole.

"Here's the point: bullying is a form of abusive and demeaning workplace conduct. It can consist of a pattern of derogatory words, dismissive tones of voice or body language, a failure to listen or welcome issues," writes Stephen Paskoff, an ethics and compliance training expert, for The Ethical Workplace Blog. "In my view, it's best seen as part of a continuum of uncivil behavior that can lead to illegal conduct and even workplace violence.

Anti-bullying policies are no longer relegated to classrooms and schoolyards. They have a very real presence in today's modern workplace. Online training solutions are emerging as an effective method of advocating clear corporate values and preventing such negative situations from derailing successful businesses.

In some cases, an employee may feel they are being bullied by a supervisor or fellow worker, even if that person doesn't realize or believe they are acting inappropriately. This is where online training systems can be used to communicate acceptable behavior so these issues never become serious legal matters.


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