Many experts have a blame the victim mentality when it comes to identifying targets of workplace bullying. The target is vulnerable, does not have the ability to speak up for themselves, and they are somehow flawed. Therefore, the person is responsible for being bullied. Organizations can then justify not intervening because the victim is at fault and if they leave the organization it is not a big deal. (Check out my feature article on who is at risk for bullying).
However, this kind of thinking is wrong. Many targets of bullying are the workers that are creative, have integrity and a good work ethic. Targets are often hard workers who go above and beyond even when it is not expected. Targets are the workers that organizations should be protecting and vesting in, but unfortunately, this is almost never the case. As a result, targets leave organizations to stop workplace bullying and this is a loss for organizations.
However, targets are not only leaving organizations, but workplace bullying is driving them out of their professions as well. Since targets are frequently high quality workers, professions are negatively influenced when targets make career changes. So, nurses, counselors, and social workers, for example, who are targets of bullying, may opt to change their career because of the abuse and lack of organizational intervention. It is, therefore, not just a loss for organizations, but it is a high cost for these professions that are in dire need of effective workers.
It is crucial that organizations take workplace bullying seriously to ensure that quality workers stay in their agencies, but also because many professions, especially helping professions, cannot afford to lose their best workers to bullying.
This week have the courage to stand up against the workplace bully and encourage administration to stop the abuse in your organization. Do this for your agency, but also for your profession.
Don’t forget to check out my survival guide if you are a target of workplace bullying. If you or your organization is experiencing workplace bullying, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or (320) 309-2360. You can also visit my website at www.jankircher.com. Help is out there.