Mary Jane Miles
GB 5 Strategic Human Resource Management
June 6, 2014
Abstract Workplace bullying and violence invades every business, company and government agency. There is a huge financial and psychological cost to incidents of this nature in the workplace. Do programs established by Human Resources create positive outcomes for the prevention and or reaction to the problems of workplace violence and bullying? This question is evaluated through multiple research articles that identify the invasiveness within companies and the like, how it impacts the organization, what the statistics say about this impact, and what are the most effective ways to address these concerns in preventing them from happening and mitigating incidents that occur in the most positive way. It has been found that prevention is the key in decreasing incidents in the workplace. By establishing policies and procedures that have zero-tolerance, and implementable, a company in effect creates a veil of safety for the employees that work for it. In incidents that actually occur those same policies and procedures provide evaluation of each individual incident, with support, and education to mitigate a positive outcome. Human Resource Managers have an integral role in the concerns of workplace bullying and violence and its prevention and mitigation.
Introduction Workplace bullying and violence is a reality for every business. Human Resource Managers must take great care of how they create policies and procedures that center around a strong definition of what it is and what it means to violate the policy. These policies should be clear and implementable throughout the organization. Training and development should reflect the employers stance on these concerns, how complaints are defined, researched, and the process of investigations. The training and development provided to employees should be done at time of hire and annually to commit to the organizations zero-tolerance policy of such acts. There also needs to be identifiable measures of support to victims and consequence for offenders. What follows is an evidence based approach to defining the problem, how it infiltrates business, how companies can be successful in dealing with these acts, and Human Resource managers role in dealing with workplace bullying and violence.
Workplace Bullying/Violence Do programs established by Human Resources create positive outcomes for the prevention and or reaction to the problems of workplace violence and bullying? What is workplace bullying/violence? Why should this be of concern to employees and employers? “Workplace bullying refers to any repeated behaviors that target an employee or group of employees, that a reasonable person, taking into account all of the circumstances, would expect to undermine, victimize, or threaten the employee(s), and that potentially pose a risk to the target’s health and safety” (Jenkins, 2011, p. 26). Another definition is: “Workplace bullying is defined as the persistent, demeaning and downgrading of individuals through vicious words and cruel acts that progressively undermine confidence and self-esteem” (Adams, 1997, p. 419). There are many contributors to violence in the workplace. Prevention is a key factor in controlling complaints and concerns. Prevention is thus far the most effective means of managing the circumstances of bullying and violence. Statistics 37% of the U.S. work force experienced bullying in 2007. 24% of the victims were terminated. 40% left their jobs because of workplace bullying. 70% of nurses surveyed reported bullying at work. Bullying and violence prevention program standards do not exist. Literature suggests best management involves cognitive rehearsal of responses to common bullying behaviors. (Stagg & Sheridan, 2010, p.423)
Research indicates the best way to deal with workplace