CAREER + MONEY

TARGET OF BULLIES AND EFFECTS ON THEM

While bullies target specific victims, have you ever wondered who they are? What are the effects on the victims and the impact on the companies?

30.04.2022
BY MAXWELL SOETOMO
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Bullying behaviors might be verbal, intimidating, related to work performance, retaliatory, and institutional. It might not be shocking that some companies encourage bullying to take place for the sake of the company's safety to avoid employees working together and sabotaging something. At this point, anyone can bully others. 

Target of bullies
Bullies can be subtle and unpredictable. Moreover, the behavior is usually repeated over time. Typically done by someone with a higher power, for example, managers, bullying involves abuse of power such as unjustified negative performance reviews, threats of firing, and denying time off or promotion proposal. 

Workplace Bullying Institute in 2017 research found that 70 percent of bullies are male and 30 percent is female. Both males and females are likely to target female victims. 61 percent of bullying comes from supervisors. Meanwhile, 30 percent comes from co-workers. The remaining six percent occurs from people with lower employment levels.

People working at the same level, even across different departments, can bully one another through gossip or work sabotage. Meanwhile, bullying from lower levels of employees can form like showing constant disrespect to the managers. Another is to refuse to complete tasks and spread rumors about the managers. In the end, bullies such that targets to make their managers look incompetent. 

Effects of bullying

Effects of bullying can impact from mental health, physical health to the conduciveness of a workplace. While leaving a job or changing departments might end the bullying, this is not always possible when it comes to the side effects of trauma. The impact of bullying can last longer after the bullying has stopped. 

Physical health
Upon victims removing themselves from a bullying environment, they might feel sick or anxious before work or when thinking about work. They might have physical symptoms such as high blood pressure because of the stress level that they had before. They might have trouble waking up or getting qualified sleep. Somatic symptoms like headaches and no appetite are also common. 

Mental health
Mental health refers to their psychological effects after unwanted actions towards them. Post-bullying, the victims might think or worry about work constantly and overly, even during a day off. They might dread work, and end up staying at home. One thing for sure is they need time off to recover from the stress. Psychologically, they are at risk of depression and anxiety. Even worse, they might be prone to suicidal thoughts. Having low self-esteem, their self-doubt level is very high.

Workplace consequences

Workplaces with high rates of bullying can produce negative consequences for the company. This includes the possibility of financial losses from legal costs or bullying investigations. Although there is still no specific organization subjected to bullying investigation in Indonesia, particularly in workplaces, people are beginning to become more aware of bullying. Hopefully, this will make business owners realize and take bullying more into account in their workplaces. 

Moreover, companies with high bullying levels can contribute to the decrease of productivity and morale. Additionally, more employees' absences will increase. As a result, poor team dynamics occur as there is no trust, effort, or loyalty from employees. 

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