What is bullying? Are head flushing, name calling antics simply the domain of the playground? Or does the behavior transfer beyond the school gates and into the workplace?
Sadly, the latter is true, with over 60% of employees experiencing bullying in the workplace at some time in their career.
Bullying is not discriminating, it effects males and females, young and old. It is commonplace in alpha dominated industries, ingrained into company culture. And whilst the problem is evident in most industries, it is specifically prevalent within the construction Industry.
Effects of Bullying
Suicide. Yes we are starting with the worst case scenario, but ongoing and systematic abuse can, and does cause people to take their own lives. When it comes to workplace suicide, the UK currently takes a blind eye approach. Other countries including America and France are reporting high levels of suicides linked to work related problems, but the UK has chosen not to record statistics, even though depression cause by bullying, is directly linked to suicide.
Other issues include panic attacks, anxiety, a lack of sleep and self esteem issues. Sadly, bullying can quietly facilitate a downward spiral, as the victims’ friendships, work relationships and work ethic is negatively impacted.
Different Types of Bullying
We already mentioned that bullying shows no mercy and just because you are at the top of your career level, it does not mean you are exempt. Vertical bullying is when a junior member of the team bullies those in higher positions. Additionally, people placed higher in the employment hierarchy may bully subordinates, whilst co-workers are equally likely to bully others in their team
Oh come on…it’s just banter….
Perhaps this is an excuse which is commonly thrown around the building site. We may have all chuckled when the newbie was sent for a long stand or a tin of stripy paint, but where is the line drawn?
Joshing and jibing at the odd prank might be acceptable but the trend for going too far is all too evident. A few years ago a shocking online video was released of co-workers hitting each other over the head. The laughing in the back ground may suggest this was a joke, but the victim is clearly not amused.