What are the true costs of bullying in your area?

What is bullying costing your company? Organization? Province/Region? Country?

For now, let us only talk about your company, otherwise our minds will go totally askew with huge numbers.

If you are the leader of an organization and allow workplace bullying to occur, you create at least five problems:

1. The target of the bullying will experience a loss of confidence and an increase in stress that often shows up in health problems. Their performance will decline. They may need more time off to recover. So you have lower performance by at least one person, the target.

2. By allowing the bullying to continue you are accepting a toxic culture, reduced performance and morale. The people witnessing the bullying will have to choose to side with the bully, leave, risk retribution by speaking out, or remain passive and try to stay under the bully’s radar. To be non-threatening to the bully they may lower their performance in some way.

3. Eventually the target will have no recourse but to leave. Research has shown that the vast majority of targets eventually leave. You now have lost a good employee and have all the costs of a new hire.

4. Plus you have the almost certain guarantee that the cycle will repeat itself. Research further shows that organizations which condone bullying also have high employee turnover rates, far less revenue per employee, increased absences, and the list goes on and on.

5. You are opening yourself up to potential litigation. While bullying is not, strictly speaking, illegal it may be connected to a form of harassment or discrimination which can be subject to litigation. At the least attention will be taken up in tracking and “proving” a case.

All this from denying bullying—oh, and let’s add the personal guilt of not protecting one’s tribe.