According to the “Third European Survey on Working Conditions in the European Union”, published by the International Labor Organization (ILO) in 2000, 9% of European workers have been victims of “mobbing” or bullying at work “(13 million).
In organizations it is easy to find work or rubbing off discussions among peers and / or top and bottom, but something different is when a person or group of persons exercising an extreme psychological violence, in a systematic way (at least once a week ) for a long time (more than six months), on another person in the workplace. In these cases we can talk about mobbing.
The term that is usually used in the international psychological literature (from English to mob: harass). In Castilian, the language used to call are: “Bullying at Work”, “psychological harassment at work, working psicoterror” or “psychological harassment at work.” Henceforth, we use the term psychological harassment at work.
Specialists agree that the psychological violence in the workplace is reaching epidemic levels. Malicious gossip, emptiness, humiliation … All part of this type of abuse. But also affects the male victims are usually the favorite women.
In some countries of the European Union is already a crime and has developed legislation.
The entry into force of the Law on Prevention of Occupational Hazards oblige all companies to identify and assess risks of psychosocial origin.
Address the problem of bullying at work must, at this time, start from the identification and risk assessment of psychosocial origin, to provide timely preventive action later.
What is psychological harassment at work?
It is a sophisticated form of persecution or harassment by an employee suffers psychological in their workplace. Sophistication that is given by the following notes:
Continuity over time is a slow process of attrition psicol or logical.
Pursuing the ultimate autoexclusi or not relinquish the job by the victim, after being up trapped and unusable.
It begins with a series of behaviors that seek to slander, insult, ridicule and led to the isolation of the victim group. With the maintenance over time of this situation is to destabilize and destroy a person psychologically, and it leaves the organization on a voluntary basis. This is its most damaging.
Psychological harassment at work is characterized as a practice that relies on the silence or complicity of the companions of the victim. Not imagine what could be the reasons that lead to these behaviors passive: they will also not be subjected to aggression, not to jeopardize his job, envy or resentment toward your partner, and so on.
Characteristics of the victim and the harasser
With regard to the personality of the victim and the harasser, there is no single pattern of behavior that determine their behavior.
From the literature reviewed so far, we can say that there are a number of personality characteristics that are present in most cases.
• With respect to the victims, most people who have been subjected to psychological harassment at work often have a high level of ethics, are honest, upright, self-initiative, highly professional and popular among their peers.
• With regard to harassing some of the qualities of personality that presents are: alteration of the sense of the moral norm, no sense of guilt, is aggressive, coward, liar, compulsive and has great capacity for improvisation, is fairly mediocre and often professionally have inferiority complex.
We can say that bullying is always an abuse of authority.
The person who is doing it to maintain its power and, for some reason, the victim is a “threat.” Leadership exercised bad work situation can turn any source of risk, so at some point we can all be affected, directly or indirectly by psychological harassment at work.
Forms of expression
The most difficult of psychological harassment at work is to detect when to start and why. In general, the victim begins to receive overlapping or open aggression, but does not realize the total living situation and often feel guilty. This hinders the ability to react to the person, the perception of the problem and agrees to a serious deterioration in his health.
In business we can find some warning signs that indicate the presence of the phenomenon, such as significant changes without preparing employees, individuals who are considered as a target or as the cause of all problems of organization, hierarchical alliances: the subordinate ally in organizing a harassment directed at any person; anarchy: it can be an instigator or as a
tactics of psychological harassment; …
All can start with some small act apparently banal (a malicious comment, a shrug or a hostile gaze), which becomes the first link in a vicious chain of humiliation, abuse and harassment, designed to destabilize the victim psychologically and achieving, finally, to abandon his post.
This situation is known today throughout the world as bullying or mobbing at work and in some countries, like Sweden or France, and constitutes a crime punishable by labor laws.
Forms of expression of this phenomenon are many and varied.
Below is the classification as factors, a set of specific bullying behaviors at work developed by Zapf, and Kulla Knörzer in 1996:
Classification of bullying behavior at work, as factors.
Attacks on victims with organizational measures:
• The upper limits to the possibilities of speaking.
• Changing the location of a person away from his companions.
• Prohibit colleagues to talk to a person.
• Forcing someone to perform tasks against their conscience.
• Judging the performance of a person so offensive.
• Challenging the decisions of one person.
• Do not assign tasks to one person.
• Assigning meaningless tasks.
• Assign one person to work well below their capabilities.
• Assign tasks degrading.
• Assign tasks with erroneous data (usually initials).
Attacks on the social relations of the victim:
• Restrict the ability of colleagues to talk to a person.
• Refusing to communicate with a person through gestures and glances.
• Refusing to communicate with a person through no direct communication with her.
• Not to speak to a person.
• Treat a person as if it existed.
Attacks on the private life of the victim:
• constantly criticize the privacy of a person.
• Dial-Terror conducted by the harasser.
• Make a person seem stupid.
• Provide that a person has psychological problems.
• mock a person’s disabilities.
• Imitate gestures, voices, … of a person.
• mock privacy of a person.
• Offers sex, sexual violence.
• Threats of physical violence.
• Using less violence.
• Physical abuse.
Attacks on the attitudes of the victim:
• Attacks on the attitudes and political beliefs.
• Attacks on religious attitudes and beliefs
Mofas • the nationality of the victim.
• Cries or insults.
• Critical to the ongoing work of the individual.
• verbal threats.
• Speak ill of the person on his back.
• Spreading rumors about the victim.
The psychological and physical harassment at work on the affected people are devastating.
Are common from the psychological stress, anxiety and depression. As for physical ailments, the defenses down, are evils to which the victim was already predisposed as dermatological problems, cardiac, gastrointestinal or allergic.
Heinz Leymann, says that “the workplace is the only battlefield that is where people can kill each other without running the risk of being prosecuted.” This observation may seem exaggerated, is set to reveal the statistics: in Sweden from 10 to 15 percent of suicides are caused by situations of psychological harassment at work.
The continued repetition of such acts of psychological harassment at work on the target or victim, may be the source of a number of changes in health. Given the definition that O.M.S. makes health (physical, psychological and social, not merely – mind the absence of disease “), these negative consequences can occur at different levels to determine it.
Some of the changes that appear are:
• Effect diverse:
Heightened fear and continuous.
• Anxiety, steady state:
Feelings of threat.
• Generalization of anxiety:
Feelings of failure.
• emotional disorders.
• Cognitive Distortions:
• Replacement Behavior:
• Aggravation of previous problems:
• psychosomatic disorders:
• disorders of social behavior:
In the employment context
• Bad weather and environment.
• Effect of the quantity and quality of work.
• Interference in the circuits of information and communication.
• Lowering of creativity and innovation.
• disregard for customer satisfaction.
• Increased absenteeism and sick leave.
• increase in the consultation to the Medical Service.
• Increasing the possibility of accidents:
For instant oversights.
IN THE FAMILY
• Discomfort in family relationships.
• Aggressiveness and irritability.
• Loss of enthusiasm and interest in joint projects.
• Abandonment or shifting responsibilities and family commitments.
• medical and psychological disorders in other members of the family system.
• Effect of affection and sexual desire.
• marital separation.
SOCIAL AND COMMUNITY
• Loss of work force and population.
• Increased expenditure on sick leave economic and / or retirement and disability.
• Increase the budget and economic stress of healthcare resources.
• Increase in the general population of the negative attributes to the effects of work
For the correct diagnosis of a situation of psychological harassment at work, we must not leave it alone to assess its impact and / or prevalence in the organization, but it requires a causal analysis of the situation, to ascertain the source of the problem East and the possible solutions to take.
To this end, we need to collect specific information on:
• Personal characteristics of the worker.
• social history of the person in his current position and previous positions or companies.
• Analysis and working conditions of their current position.
• Succession and frequency of the traumatic events of the problem.
• The physical, psychological, familial and social.
• Any other information that we consider of interest to clarify the problem.
• The use of questionnaires and fits the criteria (eg, Leymann and Inventor of Psychological Terrorization), we provide additional diagnostic criteria.
Never before had now been received to work as a source of pathology. The tactics used in psychological harassment at work is to psychologically wear down an employee to opt to obtain. The victim will deteriorate psychologically and professional capacity to lose their self-esteem, then falls into depression, psychosomatic illness, insomnia, alcoholism and even suicide. Unlike the sexual harassment or physical violence, psychological harassment to practice at work are not footprints. Should explore ways to improve all conditions. Installing democracy in industrial relations and codes of ethics or political consensus, as is beginning to make major U.S. companies, since it has been shown to eventually produce more benefits.
Among the preventive measures recommended by experts, the following quote:
“Planning and designing social relations within the company
“Articular filing systems, reception and integration of the newly incorporated
»Perform a medical treatment aimed at symptoms
»Create an open door policy
»Create a company to overcome conflicts
“Seek within the company, going to the doctor or the health and safety committee
“Having a permanent facility to support work performed by professionals in psychology
“Conducting group therapy
“Change of Department and in extreme cases change company
From the Instituto Navarro de Salud Laboral understand that an interesting way of preventive control to be opened from the identification of psychosocial risks, the elimination of the possible and the rest of the assessment for the adoption of preventive measures.
In any human organization there may be a risk of occurrence of behaviors associated with bullying. An effective preventive policy, including the assessment of psychosocial risks at the same level as the risk of safety and hygiene. The management of prevention should be directed to improving the quality of working life, while ensuring and defending human dignity in the workplace.
In general, is to improve interpersonal relations of the company, based on these mutual respect and tolerance. In addition, it could be effective: provide channels for expressing complaints of violence, take measures to investigate its veracity, to assure employees that their complaints will be heard and analyzed, and the procedures to be applied in decision making will be fair.