Bullying and Violence in the Workplace
The problem, the results, and possible prevention strategies ill be presented based on an invited paper by Bowen, Private, and Bowie (201 1), “Reducing workplace violence by creating healthy workplace environments) and a peer-reviewed Journal article, “Effectiveness of Bullying and Violence Prevention Programs” (Stag, S., Sheridan, D., 2010).
Bullying and workplace violence can be controlled if management takes appropriate steps toward early recognition, education, and preventive practices.
Identifying the potential for violent behavior often concentrates on plotting the “bad apple”, the employee constantly contradicting authority, complaining, verbally busing others, gossiping. Or alienating staff. According to Bowen (2006) It may be a reaction to bad or unhealthy environment referred to as the “bad barrel”. The policies, procedures, and practices of an organization have recently come under scrutiny as a possible cause of workplace violence. If the atmosphere for nurses, other staff members, and even patients is oppressed, violent, or unsafe, then those affected may resort to violent behavior as a response mechanism.
Management must be wiling to look at the tone and practices of the organization and evaluate staff perceptions. If the staff sees the organization in a negative light immediate steps must be taken to correct course and alter perception. Employee productivity and retention are tied closely to the staffs feelings toward the values and practices of the institute. Pride, esteem, excellence In service, caring, open-mindedness, team-spoilt, recognition of accomplishments, fairness In decisions, and constant development and improvements all solidify an employee’s loyalty and desire to produce excellence in all workplace activities.
Bullying and potential violence can come in many forms both covert and overt. Some red flags would include an employee who has a noticeable change in behavior, verbalized threats, intimidation, harassment, and repeated confrontational behaviors. These individuals must be counseled since these changes may be signs of personal or social turmoil in the individual’s private life that is affecting workplace attitudes. If counseling, warnings, diffusing violence / anger management classes are not effective, the individual may face termination for the health and safety of him or herself as well as others (Libber, 2011).
Many classifications of types of bullying have been used over the last 10 or more ears, One example Is the taxonomy developed by Earner and Hole (1997) which covers most of the commonly listed categories: I) threat to professional status, ii) (Discover, Mac Carjack, & Kashmir, 2005, p 441). Lynn Libber in the Winter 2011 issue of Employment Relations Today offers four simple but concrete guidelines to address and curtail workplace bullying and violence that can be readily implemented by management.
The list includes thorough background checks for all perspective employees watching for signs of previous violent behavior and discipline problems. Create a workplace “Violence Protection” logic. Communicate the policy to all employees and be sure to explain the forms of bullying and harassment (including internet / cyber bullying), the consequences of unacceptable behavior, and disciplinary steps leading to possible termination for repeat offenders.
Train all new hires immediately during orientation and all other employees annually about ways to prevent (primary prevention), De-escalate (secondary prevention), and personally respond (tertiary prevention) to workplace violence and bullying (Bowen, Private, & Bowie, 2011, p. 188). This would include arioso positive and negative reactions to bullying such as confronting the attacker or reporting to superior versus avoidance or quitting Job (Discover, Mac Carjack, & castrate, 2005, p. 451).
Once the implications and functions of violence in the workplace are fully understood by organizational managers, then an effective policy ad methodology can be created which will effectively address this spiraling problem, provide a safe environment for all, and raise the level of care within the institute. An introspective analysis of the current work climate ad changes that can be implemented to improve am spirit and loyalty will pave the way for better employee relationships, a stable, secure, and focused workforce.