Bullying at work grinds victims down and makes them an ‘easy target’ for further abuse according to new research. The research suggests that employers should not only crack down on workplace bullies, but also help victims gain the skills to cope with difficult situations.
A study published February 17, 2015, reveals a ‘spiral’ of abuse in which the victims of bullying become anxious, leaving them less able to stand up for themselves and more vulnerable to further harassment.
Dr Ana Sanz Vergel, from UEA’s Norwich Business School, said: “This study shows that the relationship between workplace bullying and the psychological impact on victims is much more complex than expected.
“Examples of Bullying at work include harassing, offending, or socially excluding someone repeatedly over a period of around six months.
“Workplace bullying leads to poor health because the victim is exposed to a very stressful situation – resulting in anxiety and lack of vigour. We wanted to see whether deteriorated health could make the employee an easy target for bullying. For example, the victim may have less energy to respond to difficult situations and therefore receive less support from colleagues or supervisors.
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