Bullying is a subject that we all hate hearing about, no one likes a bully, but bullying isn’t always on the swings in the school playground or in the science classroom, it filters in to a working environment, some people think that at an adult age, people would mature, but that’s not the case. Bullying in the work place is on the rise.
Bullying in the work place can wreak havoc upon a team, tearing apart its morale. The Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration service also known as Acas released a lot of new information showing facts about work place bullying, in 2004 the percentage of managers who claimed to have grievances raised with them was at 8%, 7 years on it had risen to 11%, not a huge amount but we could always see that the numbers were rising.
Nothing has been released about the amount of grievances held in the past few years but Acas has said that they receive around 20,000 phone calls a year to their hotline since they started their research in 2010, which is a staggering amount. Why bullying seems to be on the rise is unclear but it may come from the fact in today’s society, people feel more inclined to voice their opinions and speak out, but it is an issue that needs to be addressed.
What some people do not understand is that a sly little comment in the office are laughing at a joke aimed towards someone can do a lot of damage not just mentally but physically, this then circles back round to what I said about losing productivity, it can affect the team and as a whole it can affect the company its self. It has been stated by Acas chairman Sir Brendan Barber that staff turnover and loss of productivity is estimated to be £18 billion.
It has been stated that bullying is happening more in the public sector than the private sector. The groups that have been most effected are ethnic minority workers, women who work in a traditionally male-dominated job, health care workers , gay, lesbian and transgender employees and workers who suffer from a disability or a long term health issue.
The analysis that has come back from the helplines phone calls is:
- Many employees decided not to take things further, fearing this would make matters worse.
- Some employees that called stated that they were scared to go in to work.
- It doesn’t just affect the work but its effects their life at home, some workers even took leave to avoid the workplace.
- Some managers do not go through the full procedures when an allegation is made and decide rather to move staff around.
Bullying is a topic that can cause many people to feel uneasy and the fact work place bullying is on the rise is a scary fact, it’s a subject that needs to be raised and made aware of, this article has been written to link in with anti-bullying week, so please raise awareness.