The UK did a study on how workplace bullying in hospitals affected patient care. (see: http://www.theguardian.com/society/2013/sep/09/hospital-staff-bullied-patient-care-survey)
According to this survey: “A quarter of doctors and surgeons and a third of nurses have been bullied into behaving in ways they believe are bad for patient care, a survey has found.”
Bullying occurs in every workplace. It occurs wherever there are humans. When something, anything, is at stake, people will use aggression to get what they want or what they think is right. And this leads to inappropriate use of force or aggression in the workplace – which is commonly known as bullying or harassment.
The problem is that all this bullying prevents good decisions from being made because instead of decisions being made in a logical and collaborative way – they are made through intimidation and fear and that leads to bad outcomes.
The problem is more acute in a hospital setting though because bad decisions lead to bad health outcomes.
But even when a customer’s life isn’t at stake, your staff’s mental health is. In the article – one of the employees who was being actively harassed and driven out by a colleague actually tried to commit suicide by taking an overdose of medicine.
Bullying causes real harm to children and to adults. We need to start taking it seriously and stop tolerating it. Even if you aren’t the target, you need to be brave enough to speak out against harassment and intolerance when you witness it. We all need to. It’s the only way to get this counterproductive and dangerous behavior to stop.