Promising Practices Promising PracticesPromising Practices
A forum for government's best ideas and most innovative leaders.

Hostile Workplaces Are on the Rise, And They're Killing Productivity

ARCHIVES
Image via Lisa S/Shutterstock.com


Greatist is the fastest-growing fitness, health and happiness media start-up. Check out  more wellness news at Greatist.com.

On the playground, she’s mean. She laughs at our lisp and calls our pigtails ugly. She gets a bunch of her friends to stand in our way when we try to climb the jungle gym.

Flash forward 20 years and, finally, we can wear whatever we want and walk confidently down the street. That is, until 9 a.m., when we skulk past her corner office and pray she doesn’t scream at us for making a mistake on our latest project. The bully is back.

Across the U.S., workplace bullying is on the rise. The trend has some obvious negative consequences in the form of stressed and unhappy employees. But the ramifications of workplace bullying go beyond tearful staff members hiding out in bathroom stalls. Hostile workplaces often lead to less productive employees and therefore less successful companies. It might seem too simple, but perhaps the most effective way to increase job performance is to make sure everyone gets along.

What's the Deal?

The term “workplace bullying” encompasses a pretty wide range of situations, but in general, it refers to repeated, health-harming mistreatment of one or more people that can include verbal abuse, offensive nonverbal behaviors, or interfering with someone’s ability to get work done. Over the last few decades, the number of people who’ve admitted to being the target of workplace bullying has increased drastically. In 2011, half of employees in one survey said they were treated rudely at least once a week, an increase of 25 percent from 1998. (Recent researchalso suggests that physically unattractive people are more likely to be bullied at the office.) Many people say the experience of being bullied has caused them to develop health issues such as anxiety and depression. Some have even left their jobs.

While it’s becoming increasingly obvious workplace bullying is a problem, it’s not entirely clear why bullying is on the rise. Some researchers say the recent economic downturn has put undue stress on bosses, causing them to lash out at employees. Many workplace bullies also score high on tests of narcissism and self-orientation. But those who are rude in the workplace aren’t necessarily self-absorbed tyrants. Some of us are so overwhelmed by our work responsibilities that we don’t even realize when we’re being rude to others, says Dr. Christine Porath, a Georgetown University professor who studies workplace incivility.

Read more at Greatist.com.

Image via Lisa S/Shutterstock.com

FROM OUR SPONSORS
JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Close [ x ] More from GovExec
 
 

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from GovExec.com.
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Going Agile:Revolutionizing Federal Digital Services Delivery

    Here’s one indication that times have changed: Harriet Tubman is going to be the next face of the twenty dollar bill. Another sign of change? The way in which the federal government arrived at that decision.

    Download
  • Cyber Risk Report: Cybercrime Trends from 2016

    In our first half 2016 cyber trends report, SurfWatch Labs threat intelligence analysts noted one key theme – the interconnected nature of cybercrime – and the second half of the year saw organizations continuing to struggle with that reality. The number of potential cyber threats, the pool of already compromised information, and the ease of finding increasingly sophisticated cybercriminal tools continued to snowball throughout the year.

    Download
  • Featured Content from RSA Conference: Dissed by NIST

    Learn more about the latest draft of the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology guidance document on authentication and lifecycle management.

    Download
  • GBC Issue Brief: The Future of 9-1-1

    A Look Into the Next Generation of Emergency Services

    Download
  • GBC Survey Report: Securing the Perimeters

    A candid survey on cybersecurity in state and local governments

    Download
  • The New IP: Moving Government Agencies Toward the Network of The Future

    Federal IT managers are looking to modernize legacy network infrastructures that are taxed by growing demands from mobile devices, video, vast amounts of data, and more. This issue brief discusses the federal government network landscape, as well as market, financial force drivers for network modernization.

    Download
  • eBook: State & Local Cybersecurity

    CenturyLink is committed to helping state and local governments meet their cybersecurity challenges. Towards that end, CenturyLink commissioned a study from the Government Business Council that looked at the perceptions, attitudes and experiences of state and local leaders around the cybersecurity issue. The results were surprising in a number of ways. Learn more about their findings and the ways in which state and local governments can combat cybersecurity threats with this eBook.

    Download

When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.