When you hear the word ‘bullying’, it is usually associated with children’s behavior at school. Kids talk about it in reference to the actions of their peers, while parents talk about it out of concern for their offspring not being in a safe learning environment. When bullying makes the news, it is often associated with a violent school incident or some sort of tragedy.
However, there does not seem to be much public awareness when it comes to workplace bullying and the damaging effect it can have on an employee’s morale and productivity. With the rise of the Internet, particularly email and social media, workplace bullying has seen a rapid increase over the last 10-15 years.
What is workplace bullying?
According to the Workplace Bullying Institute, “Workplace bullying is repeated, health-harming mistreatment of one or more persons (the targets) by one or more perpetrators that “includes verbal and nonverbal abuse that is threatening, humiliating, or intimidating. Workplace bullying is prompted “by perpetrators’ need to control the targeted individual(s), or initiated by bullies who choose their targets, timing, location, and methods.”
Nonverbal workplace bullying often occurs over email or social media posts on something like Facebook. It is often referred to as ‘cyber-bullying’ or ‘trolling’.
Some examples of workplace bullying include:
- Spreading malicious rumors about someone that aren’t true.
- Excluding someone socially in a deliberate fashion.
- Being intimidating towards a fellow employee.
- Deliberately undermining a person’s work.
- Physically abusing or threatening abuse.
- Removing someone’s responsibilities without cause.
- Constantly changing work guidelines.
- Giving impossible deadlines that sets someone up to fail.
Workplace bullying and email archiving
The effects of bullying in the workplace via email and social media can have serious social, mental and economic impacts. This leads to clinical depression, anxiety and decreased job productivity. However, with a robust email archiving solution in place, perpetrators can easily be found out if they are using email and social media to bully someone.
A company may not be able to fully control its employees’ cyber stalking, harassing and bullying, but it can enact a zero tolerance policy for such behavior and use email archiving as a tool to enforce it. With email archiving, all emails are stored within a central store, so evidence can be provided quickly if someone is accused of malicious conduct.
Any email generated can be archived indefinitely so no one can harass another employee and expect to get away with it. The cyber trail created by email archiving also serves to minimize a company’s risk and responsibility for an employee’s bad behavior.
Workplace bullying remains a worryingly common problem and online communication has only made worse. With an email archiver in place, however, you can ensure that employees are able to provide evidence they are being bullied before it gets too serious and take appropriate disciplinary actions.