Employees who experience workplace bullying could be suffering more than mentally, according to a new study published in the International Journal of Stress Management and reported by LiveScience. They could also end up with physical health problems -- ranging from obesity to heart disease -- that could shorten their lives and, in extreme cases, lead to suicide.
The survey found that around 14 percent of U.S. workers have an abusive boss, with abuse defined as engaging in behavior such as humiliating and insulting employees or isolating them from co-workers. While employees frequently deal with abusive situations by trying to avoid their bosses or getting support from co-workers, the study found these tactics actually backfire by making the employees feel more helpless.
Why it matters to your business: Bullying isn't "cute" or something to be laughed off. I've worked for several abusive bosses in my lifetime, and these actions can have serious consequences that could put your business at risk. If you see indications of bullying in your workplace, it needs to stop -- now. Don't try to write off bullying managers as "tough bosses," laugh off the problem or urge employees to "deal with it." And if your employees have ever given you any indication that your behavior may be over the top, it's time to listen.