Keyboard activism: Three ways to support the workplace anti-bullying movement

The Workplace Bullying Institute has started a neat little Facebook awareness initiative using Labor Day as a way of calling attention to workplace bullying. I’d like to build on that by suggesting three ways in which people can support this effort without leaving their keyboards:

1. American readers, urge your legislators to support the Healthy Workplace Bill

As many readers know, the Healthy Workplace Bill (HWB) is proposed legislation I’ve authored that provides targets of severe workplace bullying with a legal claim for damages and creates incentives for employers to prevent workplace bullying. If you’d like to see this bill become law, the most important thing you can do is to contact your state legislators and urge them to sponsor/co-sponsor/support the HWB.

For more information, go to the Healthy Workplace Bill website. Versions of the bill are active in about a dozen states as of this writing. We have Healthy Workplace Advocates groups in states across the country. You can become active as time and interest permit. But contacting your state legislators is Step One — no other form of legislative advocacy is as effective as direct contact with your elected officials.

2. Post online comments to articles about workplace bullying

Be an online “bird dog.” When articles about workplace bullying appear online, post a supportive comment that reinforces the seriousness of this destructive behavior and identifies ways to prevent and respond to it.

Do not underestimate the usefulness of this form of dialog and commentary. Many people read these online comments, and their impressions of a given subject often will be shaped as much by the tenor of the comments as by the articles themselves.

3. Spread the word within your online social networks

Facebook, LinkedIn, and other social networks are excellent places to spread the word about workplace bullying. Take a minute to post or share a relevant news item or blog post with friends and colleagues on your online networks.

If you’ve ever clicked a link to someone’s Facebook post, you know that this is an easy and effective way to share information. It is one of the most time and cost effective methods of public education.

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If you have been doing these things or otherwise participating in this grassroots social movement, thank you for being a part of the solution. Your work is helping people and making a difference in our workplaces.

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Disclosure note: I am the author of the Healthy Workplace Bill, variations of which are being considered by state legislatures across the country. The HWB provides targets of severe workplace bullying with a legal claim for damages and creates legal incentives for employers to act preventively and responsively toward bullying behaviors. For more information, go to the Healthy Workplace Bill website.

4 responses

  1. Dave,

    I greatly appreciate activists for the anti-bullying movement who have never been bullied. This shows true character and concern for humankind. In my HR career, I had worked to eliminate toxic managers in the company but it was not until personally dealing with a bully that I saw the light. Bullying in the workplace is…. a crime against human decency, psychological terrorism, workplace abuse. I am thankful for the Internet because it allows us to shine the light on these individuals My hope is there will be nowhere to hide. If it requires legal action to stop it, toxic leaders who run toxic companies will be to blame.

    Kevin Kennemer
    The Chief People Officer

  2. It is important that we all know and understand what Workplace Bullying is. It is no different than school yard bullying except in the work environment it is there are no rules to protect yourself or your friends or family! How long should we put up with this type of instability?

  3. It’s easy to feel helpless in the face of overwhelming bad news. David, thank you for reminding us that everybody can be part of a grassroots solution. Any one of us might make the comment or link or show of support that edges us closer to the “critical mass” point, the point at which suddenly “everbody gets it” and things start to change. When it all seems too much some days, it’s a healthy reminder that every step DOES count.

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