Stand Up Against Bullying

Preventing Workplace Violence: Addressing the Implications

Workplace Bullying Organizations Mental Health Professionals
Two caucasian women figting with one grabbing the jacket of the other and with her hand raised and the other trying to push her back
Original Publication: December 16, 2015: Edited and Republished on July 31, 2023

In light of recent mass shootings and instances of physical violence, it is crucial to examine the potential impact of such incidents on workplaces. While persistent workplace bullying typically manifests in nonverbal, cyber, verbal, psychological, and emotional forms, the absence of adequate intervention can escalate the risk of physical violence.

It is challenging to comprehend the existence of aggression within work environments, let alone its potential to lead to physical violence and even fatalities. Nevertheless, long-term and unabated workplace bullying takes a toll on both aggressors and targets. By neglecting to address such bullying, organizations increase the likelihood of intensified violence and harmful consequences.

Targets of workplace bullying often internalize the abuse, subjecting themselves to the torment. However, even they are not immune to perpetrating violence against others. Prolonged mistreatment without appropriate attention can push targets to their breaking points, leading them to believe that lashing out at others is their only recourse.

On the other hand, aggressors are more prone to react violently when confronted and held accountable for their actions. Accustomed to being in control and evading consequences, they find it unsettling when their behavior is scrutinized. Consequently, violent reactions against the organization may be their chosen response when accused of workplace abuse.

Regrettably, incidents of mass violence in the workplace are increasing in frequency and severity. In today's society, organizations must remain hyper-vigilant to protect their employees and ensure everyone's safety. Addressing bullying in a timely and serious manner is vital to preventing the escalation of violence. Failure to do so poses a significant risk of heightened workplace violence, which, as evident from news reports, can cause severe harm to individuals.

A Call to Action:

Preventing workplace violence is a shared responsibility that rests upon all of us. Organizations must prioritize the issue and take decisive action once allegations arise, ensuring that workplace aggression is promptly and effectively addressed. By doing so, the risk of further violence can be mitigated. Let us collectively commit to eradicating workplace violence and creating safe, harmonious work environments for everyone.