We are all dealing with changes big or small as a result of recent economic events, and for the most part, we’re doing our best to take them in stride. One change that I’ve been reading more and more about lately, however, reveals a disturbing twist in the workplace landscape. According to a recent article on BNET, workplace bullies are out of the sandbox and on the rise in offices everywhere.
Okay, maybe not everywhere. But Preparis, Inc. a leader in work force preparedness solutions, forecasts that incidents of workplace violence could potentially rise as down-on-their-luck U.S. workers anticipate more layoffs this quarter and also continue to feel the pressure of putting food on the table for their families during the busy holiday season. As many workers fear that their homes, finances and jobs are threatened, they may turn to desperate measures to make ends meet - or take their stress out on those they work (and feel most comfortable) with. Preparis also mentions some warning signs of high stress that employers should watch out for.
Results from a 2007 WBI-Zogby survey of 7,440 American workers revealed that 37 percent, or an estimated 54 million people, have been bullied at work, and many lawyers say that bullying-related litigation is on the rise, particularly in light of our recent economic woes.
The effects are being felt abroad, too. The UK’s Chartered Management Institute has found that, in comparing recent results of their workplace bullying survey with survey results from three years ago, bullying appears to be on the rise across all organizations. Jo Causon, director of marketing and corporate affairs at CMI, says, “In the current economic climate, the pressure to deliver is more acute than ever, but the need to perform should not be seen as an excuse to bully.” She adds, “Now, more than ever, the ability of the UK’s managers and leaders to set a good example is paramount.”