Ban bullying | Speak out against bullying


Yesterday, employers were urged to take a stand against bullying in the workplace. As part of the National Ban Bullying at Work Day, operational director Matt Witheridge of charity The Andrea Adams Trust said that over 350 private and public sector organisations collectively employing three million workers took part in the campaign.

Judging by the huge national media attention this campaign attracted, the message is finally getting through to employers that bullying must not be tolerated at work and action must be taken to raise awareness and tackle bullying at source.

To celebrate the day, the release of 500 balloons were let loose around 2pm yesterday from The Roof Gardens, Kensington, where a personal message was attached to each balloon from someone that had been a victim of bullying in the workplace.

I caught a balloon in mid-flight and read the message before throwing it back up to the winds. It said:

“I don’t need a thicker skin. I am not over-sensitive. I am not insecure, I am a victim of bullying.”

“So many employees are left out in the cold,” commented Witheridge. “We need employers to step forward and be prepared to make a difference by openly confronting the issue of bullying within their organisation.” He also went on to explain that bullying isn’t just a wellbeing issue, it also makes clear business commercial sense…

For example, last year, £18 billion was lost to plc companies due to bullying as well as 19 million days in lost productivity. “Think of the maths,” continues Witheridge. “If you cure a culture of bullying at work, this will have a huge impact on your bottom line and you’ll see an enormous increase in employee productivity.”

The national Ban Bullying at Work campaign is aimed at encouraging more employers to own up and take responsibility of bullying in the workplace. Witheridge said: “You are never going to be able to totally eradicate bullying, but if employers can admit that bullying does go on, then we are going to congratulate them for coming forward – it’s not about blaming anyone. We’re not going to throw rocks at you, but it makes absolute sense for employers to understand what is deemed acceptable behaviour in the workplace and what is not.”

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9 Responses to Ban bullying | Speak out against bullying

  1. Cathy Warren 12 November 2007 at 11:23 am #

    Employers must start to take notice of what exactly is happening in their organisation and take a stand against workplace bullying.

    Everyone knows someone who has been affected by workplace bullying – they have either been bullied themselves or have had to stand by and watch as someone else endures the torment.

    There is a stigma surrounding adult bullying but it’s time to realise that it does happen and that businesses should do something to combat it. If you cure a culture of bullying, employee productivity and morale will increase which can only be a good thing for a business in the long run.

  2. Sara Manstan 12 November 2007 at 11:38 am #

    Most of us will know someone who has been bullied in the workplace, but may not realise it. There is a real stigma surrounding workplace bullying and it’s time to start talking about it. The more people know about it the more unacceptable it will become. We spend so much of our time at work – no one should have to put up with bullying and victimisation.

  3. Helen Trevorrow 12 November 2007 at 11:59 am #

    As an employer I know how important it is to have a team of happy and productive staff who look forward to coming into work and driving the business forward.

    Businesses should take a stand against any incidences of workplace bullying. It makes sense – your turnover rate will decrease and staff productivity will increase tenfold.

  4. Carly Thornton 12 November 2007 at 12:05 pm #

    To be seen as socially responsible in the corporate enviroment I think it’s important that businesses do all they can to eradicate workplace bullying.

    If you’re being bullied at work speak to your HR department and let them know exactly what’s going on (keep a diary of incidents so that you have full examples, dates and times).

    If you’re an employer put some guidelines in place for your staff on what is and what is not an acceptable form of behaviour in your organisation.

    This is an issue that should not be ignored.

  5. "anna solanis" 12 November 2007 at 11:34 pm #

    Greetings. Here in Canada’s capital, bullying and harassment still thrive in the public service. HR is turning a blind eye, focussing more on the process of reprimanding the target on trumped up charges than on learning about workplace bullying and its damaging effects and taking care of the employee target. The target can’t get away from the boss who has alleged the target said this, did that, and refused to obey orders, orders which were unclear and ridiculous. Union representatives are trying to help, but bully as a word is not yet in the collective agreements.

  6. bullied in massachusetts 13 November 2007 at 5:29 pm #

    Ironically, I worked for an agency who’s founder and president is a well known author and presenter of childhood bullying workshops. He should look within his own agency and recognize the abuses and bullying going on within his own corporation. His administration is run by a narcissistic power hungry tyrant (otherwise known as a comptroller) and two emotionally abusive administrators who hide behind closed doors to avoid any possible employee interaction. He claims to understand the pain that bullying can cause. He also claims to be a healer of such pain. When will he realize he sits at the top of an agency that bullys and emotionally abuses their staff?

  7. Steve Miller 19 November 2007 at 2:32 pm #

    Any sign of bullying at work needs immediate attention. If found to be concrete then discipline the bully and dismiss. I have no time for them.

    However, we must be careful not to get too caried away with the “bullying” word. Why? Simply because we do not want a business culture where employees claim thay are bullied every time a manager asks employees to carry out a resonable instruction.

    Let’s keep a balanced approach.

  8. being beaten by a bully 7 March 2008 at 5:16 am #

    I need to know if I am experiencing bullying because I am being told it is me:

    1) Nov06 my VP called me in 15 minutes before she went on a 2 week vacation and said I am hiring someone over you, see you in 2 weeks.

    2) Mar07 she scheduled a meeting in Outlook to discuss my 2006 performance appraisal. She did not have my appraisal she handed me the new employees resume and said she is starting on 4/1/07.

    3) She started spreading rumors throughout the organization that she had setup interviews between me and this person to meet before she was selected but I didn’t show up. This was a complete lie.

    4) I was a recipent of the tuition reimbursement program and she pulled my tuition citing that her and two other VPs were not convinced of my commitment to the company. Later she changed this to budget reasons. She has other individuals on her team that are permitted to take part in this program.

    5) She was making fun of me by saying that hey let’s you, the new person and me “do lunch”.

    6) When I could no longer take this type of treatment and I talked to some individuals about the abuse they repeated it. I was called in by another VP president who insisted that I reveal the names of the individuals that I told. When I resisted he said well your entire team hates you and you have burned your bridges with (the VP who has been abusive with me)

    7) After seven months of holding my tuituion reimbursement paperwork she gave it back to me in a folder on my desk with yellow marks and corrections all over it. It was read because the paperwork was pulled out the folder further humilating me. When I told her about this she said well I wanted to get it back to you as soon as possible and you were on a vacation day on Friday. I said you had it for over seven months and suddenly on Friday you wanted to get it back to me?

    8) She has told me that I can go to Employee Relations if I want but “they are in agreement with her position.”

    9) I was an exceeds expectations on my performance appraisal last year. But I received less than a 3% increase with the statement that we are not convinced of your commitment to the company. With all of my competencies either a meets or exceeds expectations. This year I have been down graded to meet expectation with three of my competencies as needs improvement.

    10) She was trying to force me to rewrite my development plan and put into it an area of development of “modulate emotions” I did refuse to do that and I said that my emotional responses were perfectly reasonable given the abuse I was experiencing.

    11) my raise and bonus is not good this year and she has denied a promotion that she was promising me for almost two year.

    Am I losing my mind completely or am I being bullied?

  9. Vicky 27 July 2008 at 1:22 pm #

    Could you please sign my petition and pass it on? I worked for Liverpool City Council for over 20 years and had to resign due to Bullying and Oppressive behaviour by management. I have launched a campaign for a change in the law in relation to workplace bullying investigations. . When you complete the petition – it will email you a link which you have to click to actually have your name added to the list. Please do remember to check your spam folder if your email doesn’t appear and make sure your name is on the list!