Tough economic times bring out the worst in certain office personalities, awakening latent bullies or making active ones more belligerent. Here’s why you should care.
First, it hurts business. Any type of bullying — from subtle annoyance to overt harassment — has been proven to hurt companies in many ways, including increased:
- Absenteeism. In general, bullied workers spend more time on sick leave than non-bullied workers.
- Healthcare costs. Yes, it’s true. Employees who claim they were bullied have reported suffering from depression, anxiety and sleep problems. And you’re footing the bill for their treatment.
- Turnover. According to a studies by the Workplace Bullying Institute, 82% of bullied workers eventually end up quitting.
In the past, office bullies and their companies usually didn’t face legal problems, unless they blatantly discriminated against an employee because of race, religion, national origin, gender or physical disability.
But those days may be numbered, as 13 states are considering anti-bullying laws.