Stand Up Against Bullying

Professions are losing good people to workplace bullying

Organizations Mental Health Professionals
Original Publication Dated: April 10, 2017; Edited and Republished November 7, 2022

Individuals and organizations suffer excessive costs when workplace bullying is not adequately addressed, but workplace bullying also impacts professions. Some workers are forced to leave their careers because workplace bullying plagues their industry. Can your profession afford to lose more good employees because of workplace bullying?
Organizations have risk factors that make them more susceptible to workplace bullying but so do some professions. Being a profession with lower social value is one of the factors that puts you at risk. Society views these professions as unimportant, not because they don't do good work, but because it doesn't value their work. 

Another high-risk characteristic is the type of work you do. Work in some professions can be challenging, where they are expected to do more with less, and their work can disempower them. They rarely receive recognition for the work they do. Clients don't want their services. Every day, workers in some professions face challenging situations, and they are expected to just keep going. 

Almost all of these professions exist in bureaucracies, which themselves are a risk factor for bullying. The risk factors have a lasting effect on how someone feels about themselves and their job over time. Some workers believe bullying is the answer. There's no denying that bullying can be rewarding, give you a purpose, and be very empowering.  Check out this video for more information about high-risk professions.

We often advise targets to change jobs as a solution. Due to the vulnerability of some professions, this has often been unsuccessful because workers jump from one bully culture to another. It can happen again and again. 

When a good employee leaves the company because of workplace bullying, the company suffers a great loss. The tragedy is doubled if the bullied target leaves their profession as well.  Some people only have the option of leaving their careers to escape bullying. 
Workplace bullying is a significant concern for some professions, and the leaders must be informed about ways to manage, stop, and prevent it. Professionals in many fields, especially those in the helping professions, cannot afford to lose their best employees to workplace bullying. Everybody loses out when that happens.

Call to Action:
To find out if your organization might have a bully culture, take this workplace at-risk assessment.