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Email Archiving – Workplace Bullying via Email and Social Media

HR and Challenges (Email Harassment, Workplace Bullying, Corporate Policies) – all related to email

When the subject of bullying comes up, it is usually thought of as a behavior that takes place at school, as in grades K-12 (and perhaps to a lesser extent in college). Kids talk about it in reference to some of their peers at school, and parents and others may talk about it out of concern for a safe learning environment. And if bullying makes the news, it is usually associated with a violent school incident.  This tends to crowd out public awareness of bullying in the workplace, which can adversely affect employee morale, productivity, and the financial bottom-line.  And onset of the Internet has given rise to workplace bullying by email and social media.

Workplace Bullying Defined

According to the Workplace Bullying Institute, “workplace bullying is repeated, health-harming mistreatment of one or more persons (the targets) by one or more perpetrators that” includes verbal and nonverbal abuse that is threatening, humiliating, or intimidating. Workplace bullying is prompted “by perpetrators’ need to control the targeted individual(s), or initiated by bullies who choose their targets, timing, location, and methods.”  Such workplace bullying–the nonverbal kind–can occur by email or posts on Web-based social media such as Facebook or Twitter; another term for Web-based bullying of this kind is workplace cyber-bullying.

Some of examples of workplace bullying include:

  • Spreading malicious rumors, gossip, or innuendo that is not true
  • Excluding or isolating someone socially
  • Intimidating a person
  • Undermining or deliberately impeding a person’s work
  • Physically abusing or threatening abuse
  • Removing areas of responsibilities without cause
  • Constantly changing work guidelines
  • Establishing impossible deadlines that will set up the individual to fail

Coping with Workplace Bullying through email archiving

The effects associated with workplace bullying via email or social media are social, mental, and economic. This includes anxiety, clinical depression, decreased job productivity, and so forth.

Ways to address workplace bullying may vary, while some of the ways include acknowledging to oneself that bullying is taking place and that it is external, taking time off work to heal and reflect, addressing the bullying in tandem with seeking redress from higher management at your employer, if practical. How workplace bullying by email or social media is addressed depends on the circumstances, whether mild or severe, and who would be involved.

Additional Resources Additional resources are available on the Internet (such as the Workplace Bullying Institute) and offline (such as through an HR representative, a counselor, or a trusted co-worker).  Check out other information regarding HR and challenges (email harassment, workplace bullying, corporate policies) – all related to email, or contact us.

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