It’s true, what we define as bullying among school children with no option to simply leave school doesn’t really fit when talking about the workplace, though it is the height of privilege to not recognize that many low-paid workers don’t necessarily have that same level of freedom to do so.
But, as the quote points out, it doesn’t matter what we call it, unprofessional behavior that hurts coworkers and employees has no place in the workplace:
Regardless of semantics, the era of prima donnas needs to come to an end. Not all industries have them, but powerful people shouldn’t abuse their power, in any job. Professionalism is a skill and a tool that businesses should push to promote efficiency and good work performance. All workers, moreover, need mechanisms to protect themselves. These can and should include formal avenues, such as human resources or union representatives, but they can also include educating workers to help one another in difficult situations. In schools, we learned long ago that the real power of the bully is the backing of a group. Without that backing, bullying tends to fall flat. This doesn’t mean that a boss relies on the approval of other workers, but it does mean that a worker who’s the target of a bullying boss may find herself better able to manage the job if she has support and kindness from co-workers.
What kind of workplace do you have? One where bullying is waved off as inconsequential among adults, or one where you make sure all employees are allowed to work in a safe environment?
With the current labor market being what it is, I know which one will actually attract talent, and which one is likely to struggle.