Workplace Bullying Must Stop

  • 2 min read

Years ago, my friend worked for a large mining company with an international presence. The company was good, pay was super and the people and environment was serene.

Everyone within the country want to work for this great company because of their values and the successes it represented for both individuals and the nation.

Young and old were flocking into their gates for employment and other contract opportunities. It was a beehive of activities and great value add to the economy.

However, within this company were bad eggs. My friend told me of one Mr Tangerine who intimidated everyone at meetings. Tangerine was one of the top managers. He was well respected because of his skills, expertise and experience.

He had solutions to every problem and answers to all questions no matter how difficult. At meetings, you would feel intimidated to even air your opinion no matter how good it may sound to you. That was the negative culture in the Company. Tangerine instilled fear in subordinates and belittled them. This single man was robbing the great company of the talents and the potential of its people. But nobody dared to report him.

On one occasion, a lady with a relocation need to another part of the country went to him for assistance. Mr Tangerine received her with delight and listened to her story. Is that all? He said. "I can fix that for you real quick, if you'll do just one thing."

The lady was curious. "What can that be sir?" She asked. Mr Tangerine rolled in his swivel chair and replied, " meet me in xyz hotel at 7pm. And everything will be sorted. I will arrange for a private room for just both of us! If you're serious, make it a date and your issue shall be fixed in no time."

The lady could sense the meaning. Being committed to her marriage and values she did not go there nor approach Tangerine again on the issue.

This is one story of bullying and there are many more within our businesses happening to males and females on a daily basis. The economic impact of this is huge and the emotional impact is humongous.

And this is the reason the campaign to stop the bullies is a worthwhile project. We must stop them. But how do we do that:

1. Stand up to the Bullies. Expose them.

2. Report and escalate the issue to the company leadership. It is an unacceptable behavior.

3. Utilize hotlines or anonymous reporting outlets.

4. Leverage social media and activists.

When bullies are exposed, they tend to stop the practice. And that is why awareness is key.

Conclusively, shine your light and let the darkness of bullying disappear from our workplaces.

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