Stand Up Against Bullying: A blog to help stop workplace bullying
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The Hidden Costs of Workplace Bullying: How Lack of Intervention Hurts Everyone, Including the Bully

the word hidden costs written on a wooden surface
Original Publication Date: January 26, 2017; Edited and Republished on April 17, 2023

Many administrators are unaware of the problem of workplace bullying, and some who do know about it choose not to intervene or do not know how to manage aggressors. Some leaders believe that confronting the bully will perpetuate the problem and leaving them alone is better. However, this is a false misconception, and it is best to hold the bully accountable because lack of intervention ensures that aggression will continue and can harm the bully.

Administrators who do not hold aggressors accountable may be damaging the aggressor more than they realize. Aggressors are often avoided and shunned by their colleagues, which perpetuates the problem of bad work relationships. It is the responsibility of leadership to review job performance and give constructive feedback to stop aggression and encourage good behavior. Lack of intervention only encourages bad behavior and shows the aggressor that bullying is more rewarding than following professional standards.

Aggressors often stagnate in their ability to improve their skills and grow professionally, relying on bad behavior to get ahead instead of developing the necessary skills. They become vulnerable when there are changes in leadership, as new leadership may hold them accountable to professional standards, resulting in sanctions or job loss.

It is always in the best interest of the organization and leadership to take workplace bullying seriously and address it effectively, as everyone in the organization suffers, even the workplace bully.

Call to Action:

· Leaders should take steps to educate themselves and their staff about the harmful effects of workplace bullying and implement clear policies and procedures for reporting and addressing instances of aggression.