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Human Resource Management
There many forms of workplace violence including but not limited to harassment,
beatings, shootings, psychological trauma, intimidation, bullying, obscene phone calls, or threats.
Workplace violence, occur due to “discrimination on the grounds of race, sex, religion,
nationality, ethnic origin, sexual orientation, disability, age, language, social origin or other
status” (Tehrani, 2012, p 2). While these all occur on too regular a basis, bullying is major
problem in the workforce today.
“Bullying is behavior that the victim perceives as oppressive, humiliating, threatening, or
infringing on the victim’s human rights. Such behavior must occur over an extended period of
time” (Mathis and Jackson, 2009, p 493). There are four main types of bullying; personal
derogation, intimidation, work-related bullying, and social exclusion. Personal derogation uses
humiliation, criticism, or mockery to demoralize the targets integrity. Intimidation includes
physical threats and misuse of power to where the target is unable to defend themselves.
Information withheld, extra responsibilities given or taken away, or when credit is stolen for
work done by the target it is referred to as work-related bullying. And last social exclusion is
when the target is intestinally left out by the other employees (Tehrani, 2012, p 4).
It is important for companies to have systems in place where employees could report
workplace violence such as bullying. First companies should clearly define workplace violence
such as bulling in an employee handbook so it is easily apparent what criteria is included as
bullying. Implementing a confidential supporter is an excellent source for an employee to talk to
about any workplace bullying. Confidential supporters are intended to “support and inform
bullied targets” (Tehrani, 2012, p 181). These confidential supporters are co-workers who help
the employee deal with the unwanted behavior from bullies, they are not required to solve the
problem, they are rather someone to care for the employee and stand by their side. While
Human Resource Management
confidential supports are meant to keep the information confidential, there are cases where they
must report the action. When extremely serious bullying occurs they must report it to
supervisors. Along with the confidential supporter, managers or supervisors should be involved
in mediation between the two parties. The complaint will be kept in the file of the bully and
target so if there are any more problems correct action can be taken.
When formal complaints of bullying are reported it should always be investigated by
trustworthy members of a committee, including internal and external members. Reductions in
bullying will occur when there are systems in place to report bullying in a safe environment.
Bullies typically find weak or fragile people who wouldn’t say anything to anyone about the
unwanted behavior. Once these people are not afraid to report the bullying then the bullies no
longer have easy targets.
The Bible tells us that we should be strong always because God is on our side.
Deuteronomy 31:6 says “Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is
the Lord your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you.” God gives us
people in our lives to help us through hard situations, in the workplace this can be a confidential
supporter to give us the support we need to be strong.
Human Resource Management
Mathis, Robert L., Jackson, John H. (2009). Human Resource Management thirteenth edition.
South-Western Cengage Learning. Page 493.
Tehrani, Noreen. (February 2012). Workplace Bullying: Syptoms and Solutions. Routledge,
Florence, KY. Retreived November 2, 2013 from
209 Pages 2, 4 and 181.
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