Profit, Productivity, and Peace—The Business Case for Eliminating Workplace Bullying

PMI Canadian West Coast Chapter

Bullying can be as harmful to business profits, productivity, and workplace harmony as it is in schools and other areas of society. If asked, most business leaders most likely feel a moral and ethical obligation to respond. However, despite studies, much publicity, and even expanding illegalization, the majority of organizations throughout the world remain ineffective or unmotivated to proactively prevent or directly confront workplace bullying. Sadly, the rates of workplace bullying are increasing dramatically.

Perhaps, the key to unlocking organizational response is to focus on the broader business impacts that could harm the bottom line, lessen program and project success, and wreak havoc within employee ranks. Let’s forget, for a moment, about the moral, emotional, and ethical reasons why organizations should eliminate workplace bullying. Instead, let’s focus our arguments on profits, financial incentives, and ROI. Bluntly put, ending bullying is just plain good for business.

The statistics are clear and irrefutable—workplace bullying is costing businesses billions of dollars annually. For every short-term result that a bully might create (i.e., a project completed on time and budget, or a previously struggling unit whipped back into shape), there is a long list of longer-term negative business impacts that far outweigh any temporary …

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