Imagine receiving a call from NASA/Johnson Space Center, the world’s leader in space and aeronautics, to conduct a workshop/training entitled, “Cyber Bullying: The New Face of Workplace Bullying”. Not only did I have the opportunity to train employees including supervisors and crew leaders, but I also consulted with HR and assisted them in drafting comprehensive social media policies for the company. If the top place to work in the world is struggling with digital bullying via social media venues, can it be that cyber bullying is frighteningly more common in the workplace than one may predict?
A cumulative study by the University of Sheffield, Harvard, USC, the RAND Corp, & the Workplace Bullying Institute (WBI) has shown that approximately 4 out of 10 people have experienced cyber bullying at the workplace in the last six months.
I have found that many businesses are struggling with how to address, prevent, and stop this new form of bullying which incorporates the use of electronic devices to hurt, embarrass, threat, intimidate, humiliate or harass another. Many have not included social media guidelines in company policies which increases the risk factors for legal ramifications. Cyber bullying incidents include sending malicious and belittling e-mails, group texts, and tweets…especially to target one’s job performance. Other reported examples of workplace bullying include posting offensive or embarrassing comments/photos about co-workers via social networking sites, chat forums, trendy apps and blogs.
Workplace cyber bullying proves not only hard to track, but also hard to monitor. It can cause anxiety, stress and hostility… eventually leading to a decline in employee productivity and overall climate. It is important to recognize and take action against cyber bullying in order to maintain sustainable business operations. While there is no single successful method or a magic panacea to end cyber bullying in the workplace, there are proven strategies that businesses can employ to combat and prevent cyber bullying in their workplace.
Please contact me for further information, to book a training/workshop or to speak at a workplace conference.