Has someone at work made you the target of cruel jokes, name calling or harassment? You might be experiencing workplace bullying, and it could have consequences for your future career growth. Workplace bullying can lead to poorer job performance, which might in turn limit future career options.
Bullied workers can be verbally harassed, excluded from company events, intimidated and threatened by other employees. Bullying can be carried out by one person or a group of people. What are the consequences for the professional lives of workers affected by bullying?
Workplace productivity and mental health: Bullying leaves workplace productivity in shambles. According to the Workplace Bullying Institute, bullied workers are 40 percent less productive than their peers. A study from Harvard argued bullied workers suffer from a 66 percent decline in workplace performance. Bullied workers are more likely to be absent, taking ‘mental health days’ or finding other reasons to not be at work. Why does this happen? Bullying causes depression, anxiety and insomnia. In severe cases, bullied workers can develop post-traumatic stress disorder.
Job stability: Bullied workers are more likely to be fired for poor performance and absenteeism, but only if they don’t quit first. The Workplace Bullying Institute claims 30 percent of bullied workers resign from their positions. Workers who are placed in the uncomfortable situation of being bullied will do almost anything to avoid going back to work, including quitting.
Workplace Bullying Consequences Can Halt Your Career Growth
When switching jobs, it is not unusual for employers to want candidates with a record of productivity and stability. Candidates who abruptly quit their jobs, or have a history of poor performance, might be less likely to be offered lucrative positions.
While workplace bullying is not illegal, some types of harassment warrant legal action. If bullying involves race, gender or sexual orientation, it is worth discussing what legal options are available with a labor law attorney.