Bullies come in all ages, genders and sizes, which is why picking the bully from a crowd can be difficult. Gone are the days when the bully is someone who is big, buff and has the largest muscles. Nowadays, a bully can be a woman harassing a man or the smaller guy who hides behind technology when harassing a coworker or classmate. Because the stereotypical image of a bully is no longer a way to find the perpetrator it is important for businesses and schools to raise bullying awareness.
Anti bullying training should be given to managers in the workplace and teachers at schools. These training classes should show those in authority how to recognize bullying, prevent it from happening and stop it immediately if it has started.
Let’s take a look at some ways to help raise bullying awareness in our community:
Workplace Bullying Awareness
Bullies no longer belong on the school yard. In fact, many businesses are seeing a trend in coworkers harassing others and some managers using their powers of authority to bully employees into doing what they want them to do. Because we are seeing bullies enter the workforce, it is important for all companies to offer bullying awareness programs in the workplace to all managers and employees.
Bullying training at work will help reduce the amount of complaints received by human resources and help pinpoint where the harassing behavior is coming from. However, it is important to have a plan in place to deal with bullying at the workplace before conducting the training.
This plan needs to be in place because once employees are taught how to recognize this type of abusive behavior, they are more likely to come forward with complaints. If there is not plan in place, nothing gets done about the complaints and the employee feels like they do not matter. Plus, in some cases, if the bully knows that nothing will be done about a complaint, his or her behavior could escalate.
Different training methods
There are many different ways to raise employees’ awareness about bullying. Here are some of the more common methods to train employees:
- Have a meeting to discuss it
- Make it interactive with each employee participating in role playing scenarios
- Host question and answer sessions
- Bring in outside speakers and trainers
- Speak with employees one-on-one about their concerns
It may also be necessary to create a workplace task force that focuses on training other employees and strives to help raise bullying awareness in the workplace.
Workplace bullying facts
According to the Society for Human Resource Management employees are reporting that they have been bullied in one way or another either at work or by a co-worker. Here are some facts from a survey conducted by the Business Research Lab in 2002 and 2003:
- 40 percent of those surveyed say they had been a victim of bullying at the workplace
- 59 percent have witnesses a co-worker getting bullied
- 47 percent of those surveyed stated they have worked for an abusive boss
Here are some facts regarding bullying in the workplace from BullyingStatistics.org:
- Workplace bullying occurs when one person or a group of people single out another.
- Bullying at work occurs when that one person is singled out for embarrassing, intimidating and unreasonable treatment.
- Most workplace bullies are insecure and/or immature.
- Repeated practical jokes are considered bullying.
- Employees being excluded for no reason is a form of bullying.
- Verbally abusing an employee is a form of bullying.
Here are some statistics regarding workplace bullying from BullyingStatistics.org:
- One third of employees may be the victim of workplace bullying.
- Approximately 20 percent of workplace bullying ends up crossing the line and becomes harassment.
- Men bullies at the workplace harass both men and women equally.
- Female bullies at the workplace tend to bully other females (instead of men).
Results of workplace bullying
When bullying occurs in the workplace, the victim is not the only one who suffers from the bully’s actions. Everyone at the workplace can be affected, including customers, clients and anyone else who does business for or with the company. Here are some things that can happen because of bullying in the workplace:
- High absenteeism.
- Low productivity.
- Emotional distress.
- Not meeting deadlines.
- Failure to meet with clients.
- Creating more bullies.
- Low staff involvement in workplace activities.
- Workers are always late.
- Lack of respect for management.
- Poor work ethic.
Bullying at school
When one student starts singling out another it is considered bullying. This is when the one student, the bully, harasses, coerces and manipulates the one student in order to get a reaction or something from the victim. There are many consequences which result from bullying at schools. Here are some of those consequences:
- Lack of attendance.
- Decline in student involvement in extracurricular activities.
- Drop in grades.
- Emotional distress.
- Lack of in-class participation.
- Physical abuse and fights (as a means to defend the victim’s honor).
- Increase rate of students dropping out of school.
Importance of education
According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, addressing bullying can help prevent future abuse from happening. All schools must address bullying among students and within the community as a means of stopping this heinous act from continuing in future generations. It must start with bullying training for teachers before it can be taught to the students.
Anti bullying education for teachers should include:
- Activities the teachers can use to teach students about bullying.
- An evidence based program and preset curricula.
- Regular staff training on bullying awareness and prevention.
Training for teachers, staff and other school faculty members should be done on a regular basis. It is also important to teach those who work at the school about how to recognize and handle a bully when a situation arises. Just like with the students, when training faculty, it is important to keep them engaged throughout the entire process.
Bullying training for teachers gives them the tools they need to successfully teach students and help raise bullying awareness at the school. According to the U.S. Department of Education most teachers want to help stop bullying. However, many do not know how or where to begin. In most cases, many teachers do not receive the proper training or tools to be effective when battling bullying.
There are many different ways teachers can make students aware of bullying and the consequences associated with it. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, helping students with bullying awareness does not always have to be part of a formal program. There are many different activities that students can participate in that will help raise awareness.
Examples of these activities include:
- Giving research projects to students requiring them to look up types of bullying, prevention methods and how kids can respond when they are a victim or witness someone else being bullies.
- Presentations including speeches or role-playing activities by faculty and/or students.
- Bringing in outside speakers to discuss the dangers of being a bully.
- Creative writing assignments about the topic.
- Assigning art projects on the topic.
- Holding classroom meetings.
- Organizing a group that focuses on awareness at the school.
As you can see, bullying has become a major concern in communities across the country. As a nation, we need to train our teachers to prevent any forms of bullying from escalating. As business owners and managers, we need to keep bullying out of the workplace. The best way to do both of these is to ensure everyone at the school, in the workplace and in the community are educated about bullying. Properly training those in a position to handle the bullying is the first place to start.