May 19, 2006

The cost to the employer

'... Often, the only symptoms of a bully boss are a steady trickle of staff resignations, low productivity and the glum faces around the water cooler.

Companies should remember the workplace truth that people don't quit jobs, they quit managers, human resource experts said.

Almost two-thirds of people who leave a position cite bad leadership, with compensation and benefits "way down at the bottom" of reasons, Wellins said.

Bullying causes stress, which costs corporations $300 billion each year and is responsible for 1 million absences each day, said Kathleen Hall, a stress-management expert based in Clarkesville, Ga., and author of "Alter Your Life."

"Employers have to understand it is going to kill and take the lifeblood out of their company," Hall said.

Bullies boost health care expenses and compromise business results by stifling both dissent and creativity, critics say.

"The mythology is they get results. The truth is, they prevent work from getting done," Namie said. "It's the highly competent minions who are getting things done."

Once saddled with an abusive manager, employers will have a tough time reforming that person, although training may help. It's easier to weed out potential abusers before they join the organization, Wellins said...'


'...The findings come after figures showed that Victoria's biggest government department — Human Services — cost taxpayers $2.4 million in WorkCover compensation for stress, anxiety or depression in 2003-04, with 195 employees affected.'

From: Bullying rife in public service

'...Some of the costs of behaviours associated with workplace bullying have been identified. In the United Kingdom, Hoel, Sparks and Cooper (2001) estimated that workplace bullying absenteeism contributed an extra 18 million lost working days annually. By contrast, Rayner, Hoel and Cooper (2002) argues that costs are rarely estimated reliably but rather are lost in the daily activities of those who are required to deal with the problem. As such, the true costs remain unaccounted for. In the Scandinavian countries, the need for intervention by personnel officers, personnel consultants, managers of various grades, occupational health staff, and external consultants in an endeavour to overcome the problem have been conservatively estimated at 30,000 to 100,000 US dollars (Leymann, 1990). Nevertheless, there is a lack of research quantifying the impact workplace mobbing has on organisations. Such a model would need to account for the hidden costs such as client and industry perceptions, investor confidence, and loss of knowledge capital. Generally, only the obvious organisational impacts are considered such as absenteeism, turnover and productivity (Hoel, Einarsen, & Cooper, 2003)...'

From: Workplace Mobbing: a proactive response

'...The company where mobbing occurs may suffer damage not only to its image but also to its finances. An evaluation by the International Labour Office has found that psychological harassment costs about EUR 150,000 a year in a company with 1,000 employees. Moreover, some researchers have found that a mobbing victim has a reduced working performance (by 60%) and an increased cost for the company (by 180%)...'

From: Increasing focus on workplace 'mobbing', european industrial relations observatory on-line

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