Workplace bullying and its influence on morale

Often, when we think, read or talk about bullying, a teenager or an elementary school child is involved. Many people think of bullying in the lines of "give me your lunch money" or “do my homework" statements.

Unfortunately, there is another prevalent form of bullying which is on the rise and few people are willing to talk about it – bullying in the workplace.   

There is no legal definition of workplace bullying but the many people confuse it with other common vices such as harassment, micro-management or discrimination.

However, bullying can be described as repetitive unfair treatment of an individual by his/her boss, employer, colleague or a group of colleagues at the workplace. Workplace bullying affects the victim and the organization in unimaginable ways. But before we delve into the effects or workplace bullying, we first need to understand the forms in which it manifests;    

What is workplace bullying?  

Bullying can be as basic being isolated from team duties, copied emails or withdrawing information that would otherwise be helpful in performing one's duties.

It could also be physical whereby, an employee is pushed, grabbed or hit by someone at the workplace. Hurling insults, making derogatory comments, 'whispering' behind the victim's back as well as issuing threats such as "I can get yout fired" are other common forms of bullying.

Sometimes corporate bullies intertwine their actions with discrimination in the case where gender, sexual orientation or race is involved. For instance, in a 2015 report by YouGov, Asians and other minority races were more likely to experience some form of bullying disguised as discrimination.

The report also revealed that women were more likely to be victimised than men, but female co-workers and bosses were reportedly biased towards fellow women.    

Effects of corporate bullying on the victim 

Bullying has a lot of negative effects on both the victim and the organisation - the most common effect being on company and team morale. The victim will feel less interested and motivated to go to work and over time, their self-esteem will be deeply wounded.

Often, victims end up being retrenched due to under-performance or stagnation, which is an indirect result of declining morale.    In extreme cases, victims could develop mental illnesses such as depression and anxiety. This in return could lead to suicidal thoughts or hospitalisation and an inability to work.      

Effects on the organisation?  

The organisation may not be affected by bullying in the short term but eventually, repeated cases of bullying take their toll colleagues which in turn will creep through the entire organization.

First, colleagues may feel threatened. This affects their morale and productivity.

Second, an organisation's turnover rate is likely to rise as employees take the decision to move away from a toxic working environment. 

Lastly, if a victim decides to take legal action against the bullies, an organisation's image and reputation could suffer immensely. If such cases attract the public interest, people may boycott the organization's products and services. In addition, it may be difficult to attract and retain good talent in future.      

What can be done about workplace bullying? 

There are no notable policies or laws governing how to tackle workplace bullying. This, however, does not mean that bullies should get away with their actions. To resolve this issue, both the victim and the organisation need to take action. 

First, the victim should keep record of all instances of bullying. These will serve as evidence, if they decide to take legal action, either through a lawyer or their trade union.

Second, the victim should discuss their plight with the human resource personnel to establish whether there are policies that touch on their situation. If HR lacks a suitable solution, industrial courts can resolve such issues but at a cost.

Lastly, if their mental or physical health is affected, it is advisable to seek medical attention and counselling.   

The organisation's management, on the other hand, can take measures such as educating all employees, from the top down, about corporate bullying and its consequences. In addition, every organisation should put in place policies that deal with bullying effectively.      

In a nutshell, corporate bullies don't disappear after senior school.

They proceed to colleges and universities and some will become bosses. The fact that people are not willing to talk about bullying at the workplace doesn't change the reality. There is an imminent need to tackle the issue, not just at a personal or organizational level but on a legal or national scale. If people can deal with harassment and discrimination, then there is room to deal with workplace bullying.      

Remember Mayfair, we care.


Sources:  

https://www.forbes.com/sites/pragyaagarwaleurope/2018/07/29/workplace-bullying-here-is-why-we-need-to-talk-about-bullying-in-the-work-place/#6c39fed23259  https://www.unison.org.uk/content/uploads/2013/07/On-line-Catalogue216953.pdf

 

Why Workplace Well-being is Important


 

It is easy to spot the tell-tale signs of a stressed employee. These can include:

  •        regular absenteeism,
  •        constant tiredness,
  •        smoking,
  •        drinking,
  •        inactivity in exercise terms,
  •        disorganised,
  •        convenience food addiction
  •       personal issues with their partner.

 

If you are a company owner why not consider avoiding the situation getting that serious? Why not think of creating workplace well-being in your company which will boost the performance of your employees and also boost the overall productivity.

For some employees work is endured rather than enjoyed and that is why a good wellness program will boost working morale for everyone and improve productivity across all pay grades.

Consider these reasons for introducing a wellness program: 

Increased Enjoyment  

A boring and repetitive role within a workplace can lead to a high turnover of staff which is expensive for the employer and creates an adverse effect on productivity.

Whilst the introduction of a good Health in the Workplace programme will not make a repetitive job less tedious, it will give the employee some variety and something to look forward to.

Increased Productivity 

Employees engaging in workplace wellness activities such as a healthy eating programme, exercise classes or workplace massage often feel happier about themselves, their employer and their job which can result in improved productivity and performance.

Employees will be more focused and energised to have the motivation to tackle their work.

A program which includes education around good nutrition and an exercise activity can bring tremendous benefits.  7

Happy staff

Employees taking part in one of these programmes tend to feel more satisfied in their job as compared to those who do not have any programs.

It usually leads to improved health which does not only boost overall attitude but also appearance.

Team Building

When a group of employees engage in group activities such as health and fitness activities, they will feel more connected to their colleagues which is excellent for team bonding within the workplace and gives them all a common interest that might have been lacking previously. This can only be a positive outcome for the company.

Company benefits

Introducing such schemes will have an added cost to the company but if such healthy living schemes can help reduce absenteeism and improve productivity then these benefits will go a long way to covering, if not exceeding the costs of the scheme which will then become cost neutral.

Employee benefits

A job that promotes good nutrition, health and wellness habits will lead to employees taking better care of themselves resulting in improved health. With health improved, sickness days will be reduced, there will be less expenditure on medical bills and other associated costs. 

But don’t let these good habits finish when you leave work! Carry good habits over into your leisure time and continue to benefit from an improved regime of diet and exercise.

Mayfair, we care

Could Breathwork be the 2018 self help fad?



Health and fitness is a concern for many people and especially those looking to lead a healthy and fulfilling business and personal lives.

Health is looked at from different perspectives such as physical, mental, spiritual, and emotional health. Meditation and mindfulness have grown in popularity in recent years due to their usefulness in improving various aspects of human health.

We have seen numerous practitioner centres being established to offer lessons and guidance on how people can use meditation exercises to improve their well-being.

A search on Amazon Books will highlight the publishing industry niche that has grown up around meditation and mindfulness which is an indication of the important role that they hold in the health and fitness spectrum in today's society.

However, there’s a new kid on the block!

Breathwork has been gaining popularity as a means through which individuals can improve their well-being. Could it replace meditation and mindfulness?

Breathwork is a collective term used to describe a variety of contemporary wellness practices. These practices aim to influence the mental, physical, spiritual, and emotional wellness of an individual through the conscious control of breathing.

Several forms of Breathwork therapy currently exist. The main objective of any Breathwork therapists work to improve the well-being of an individual through an improvement of the physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual state of the individual by practice of various therapeutic Breathwork techniques.

It is believed that these techniques can be used to minimize anxiety, relieve chronic pain, deal with anger issues, overcome depression, cure trauma and post-traumatic stress, and solve the negative emotional impacts of physical illness.

Types of Breathwork

Re-birthing Breathwork:

This Breathwork technique is also referred to as conscious energy breathing. It is considered as a means through which individuals can release traumatic memories that have been suppressed since childhood. Participants are usually asked to lie down on their backs, relax, and engage in normal breathing. Through deep relaxation, pent-up energy and subconscious issues are released.

Holotropic Breathwork:

The primary goal of this exercise is to achieve the wholeness of body, mind, and spirit. It is often conducted in groups with participants lying down and engaging in breathing exercises. The session ends with participants sharing and discussing the issues that they have discovered about themselves.

Clarity Breathwork:

Deals with any issue that hinders the healthy and free flow of breath and energy. It is founded on the belief that many people do not breathe properly or to their maximum capacity. It, therefore, aims to enable people to breathe properly and achieve mental clarity.

Where Breathwork differs

While Breathwork and mediation aim to achieve similar results, they are different practices. In meditation, a person focuses his or her mind on a specific thought, object, or an activity such as breathing to achieve emotional calm or mental clarity.

Just like Breathwork, it can also be used to reduce anxiety, stress, pain, and depression.

Mindfulness, on the other hand, is the psychological process of focusing on the present. It can be achieved through meditation and Breathwork.

All of these practices differ individually but are complementary in various ways. The increasing popularity of Breathwork as a self-help practice is, however, due to the ability to apply the practice in both meditation and mindfulness. 

If in doubt, consult your doctor.

Mayfair, we care.

Employee Workplace Fitness Programs

Being proactive about employee fitness is the latest development at many workplaces – and for all the right reasons.

Employers are realizing the importance of incorporating this important aspect of life into their organisations and one of the primary reasons for this development is to improve productivity. 

A fit and healthy employee can do more tasks more efficiently than one who is not physically and mentally fit and not suffer from the absenteeism often resulting from poor mental and physical health with its resultant impact on productivity.

However, busy people pursuing their careers and balancing a family life can make health and fitness goals a secondary priority due to time constraints.

Statistics

The stats about work and fitness tell it all. Did you know that 61% of employees are mentally and physically drained in their jobs?

Most of them suffer from this condition as a result of continuous work without taking rests or any other form of physical or mental relief.

In a study it was found that the top five causes of missed workdays are fatigue, sleeplessness, general body aches, anxiety and weight gain. Companies are spending billions of money dealing with all these work-related health issues. When asked about workplace fitness programs, 77% of employees said that they would work out more if their employer introduced fitness equipment such as treadmills in their workplace.

These types of statistics have motivated employers to introduce work and wellness programs at their workplaces. Such programs are designed to meet diverse needs of employees, keeping in mind that different people have different health needs.

Let’s look at some of the health and fitness programs that are popular with employees.

Workplace fitness centres

Forget the commercial fitness centre in town. Companies are now improvising on the little spare room they have to incorporate on-site fitness centres. Although these centres may not be spacious, they have adequate space that can accommodate a sizable number of
employees.

In addition to the standard workout equipment, such centres can also have rock climbing walls and even swimming pools. To enhance their usage, companies employ specialized fitness trainers to give their employees the much-needed support.

Smoking prevention programs

It’s clear that most companies still have employees who smoke cigarettes. Although it may look like a non-essential issue, the results can be quite damaging, especially to the company’s
productivity due to the health issues that are associated with smoking. The smoking programs that many companies have introduced are aimed at sensitising employees on economic and ethical issues related to smoking.

Yoga programs

Yoga has numerous benefits both to the physical and mental state of the person practicing it. A good percentage of employers have considered including it in their workplace fitness programs. The best thing about yoga classes is that any empty room at the workplace can be used for this program. The classes can be conducted in unoccupied conference rooms, unused offices, and if the weather allows, the rooftops can be perfect venues.

Yoga classes help employees to develop better postures, heal back pain, get rid of stress, and recharge their bodies among others.

Summary

There are many workplace fitness programs and we have just highlighted three of the most popular in this article, but many organisations, both big and small are benefitting from a focus upon employee health and fitness. The good news is that most of them report positive results on how the programs have influenced their productivity and the general performance of their organization.

Mayfair – we care.

With acknowledgements to:

http://press.careerbuilder.com/2017-05-23-Do-American-Workers-Need-a-Vacation-New-CareerBuilder-Data-Shows-Majority-Are-Burned-Out-at-Work-While-Some-Are-Highly-Stressed-or-Both

http://www.treadmillreviews.net/working-out-during-the-workweek/

https://www.yogajournal.com/practice/beginners/how-to/office-yoga