Renewing a commitment to bullying-free workplaces

(Drawing copyright Aaron Maeda)

(Drawing by Aaron Maeda, copyright 2016)

Here in America, it should come as no surprise that in survey data released by the American Psychological Association earlier this fall, “52 percent of American adults report[ed] that the 2016 election is a very or somewhat significant source of stress,” with the figures cutting fairly evenly across political lines. Many of these stressors and anxieties have continued in terms of the post-election aftermath and the evolving transition in Washington D.C.

Under such distracting (and, for some of us, distressing) circumstances, it can be hard to turn our attention back to the tasks at hand, which for many readers of this blog include preventing, stopping, and responding to bullying, mobbing, and abuse in the workplace. But that we must. As I see it, our basic agenda as we head into 2017 holds steady:

  • Engaging in public education about abusive work behaviors;
  • Educating and persuading employers and other employee relations stakeholders about the destructive effects of abusive work environments and the importance of effective prevention and response;
  • Expanding the pool of mental health providers who are competent and knowledgeable to assist targets of bullying and mobbing at work; and,
  • Enacting legal protections such as the Healthy Workplace Bill to provide targets with a legal claim for damages and to incentivize employers to take these behaviors seriously, as well as building a stronger safety net of public and private employee benefits to help those transitioning out of toxic workplaces.

And so the work goes on, fueled by a continuing recognition that building workplaces that value and practice dignity will benefit us all.

2 responses

  1. The election was and continues to be an excellent platform to talk about bullying; what it is and what the perpetrators look and act like. From there a discussion on the counter productive and damaging effects can help make the point that we need a law.

    • I think the “bullying” that we witnessed Trump doing compared to the bullying taking place in the workplace are significantly different and that potential supporters and advocates are confused when there are calls for laws to address bullying. It’s not the same. Also, I’ve yet to find a recognized news source distinguish between the two because the news media have pretty much ignored workplace bullying in recent years. Plus, the Trump’s bullying sure in hell did not stop him from getting elected President. I think we need to be careful.

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