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OSHA describes workplace violence as, “any act or threat of physical violence, harassment, intimidation, or other threatening disruptive behavior. It ranges from threats and verbal abuse to physical assaults and even homicide.” The EEOC describes harassment as, “unwelcome conduct that “becomes unlawful where 1) enduring the offensive conduct becomes a condition of continued employment, or 2) the conduct is severe or pervasive enough to create a work environment that a reasonable person would consider intimidating, hostile, or abusive.” Interesting that both of these definitions seem to describe workplace bullying, yet many employers fail to address that issue.

Workplace bullying is systematic psychological abuse that degrades and humiliates, and causes anxiety, depression, burnout, and lower levels of job satisfaction in targets and bystanders. Behaviors include frequent yelling, manipulation of work, nasty emails, social isolation, and a host of others. This session will take you through the process of developing effective strategies for dealing with workplace bullying and provide a step-by-step guide for building a healthy workplace where employees can thrive.

  • Define similarities and differences in workplace bullying, harassment, and violence
  • Describe damage caused by these behaviors to make a business case for ending them
  • Understand these behaviors as a social phenomenon, including traits of perpetrators and targets
  • Determine organizational cultural factors that allow negative behaviors to thrive
  • Articulate tactics for building preventative and sustainable positive culture change which can serve as part of your defense if ever challenged
  • Articulate regulatory updates, including the four state laws against workplace bullying, and the EEOC and NLRB’s stance on the issue

  • Definition of workplace bullying, violence and harassment and how they overlap
  • How these behaviors are similar and different
  • Consequences of allowing these behaviors to flourish
  • Myths About Workplace Bullying
  • Ten Steps to Eliminating Workplace Bullying
  • The ultimate solution to bad behaviors: a positive workplace
  • The social phenomenon of bad behaviors

If allowed to flourish, bullying causes increased turnover, communication breakdown, reduced quality in work and poor customer service. In the end, bullying creates an unsafe and unhealthy work environment that can cost an organization millions if not addressed. In fact, all negative behaviors at work cause anxiety, burnout, low job satisfaction, and increased turnover, but they have differing legal risks for employers. The distinction – and the overlap – between these concepts can certainly cause confusion, but not knowing the difference and acting proactively to stop these behaviors could result in an unwanted lawsuit brought by an employee.

  • HR
  • Business Consultants
  • EAP’s
  • Small Business Owners
  • Risk Management
  • Employee Relations
  • Unions
  • Employment law attorneys
  • In-house general counsel

Catherine M. Mattice, MA, SPHR, SHRM-SCP is President of consulting and training firm, Civility Partners, and has been successfully providing programs in workplace bullying and building positive workplaces since 2007. Her clients include Chevron, the American Red Cross, the military, several universities and hospitals, government agencies, small businesses and nonprofits. She has published in a variety of trade magazines and has appeared as an expert in major news outlets including NPR, FOX, NBC, ABC, USA Today, Inc Magazine, Huffington Post, Entrepreneur Magazine, Washington Times, Psychology Today and Bloomberg. Catherine is Past-President of the Association for Talent Development (ATD), San Diego Chapter, and one of the founders (and current president of) the National Workplace Bullying Coalition. In his foreword to her book, BACK OFF! Your Kick-Ass Guide to Ending Bullying at Work, Ken Blanchard said it was “the most comprehensive and valuable handbook” on workplace bullying. BACK OFF, and her second book, SEEKING CIVILITY: How Leaders, Managers and HR Can Create a Workplace Free of Bullying, are both available on Amazon.

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