“Policies without enforcement and accountability for all abusers are insufficient. When special people (e.g., high-ranking bullies) are allowed to bully with impunity from punishment, the policy is not worth the paper it’s printed on,” says the Workplace Bullying Institute (WBI).
In a 2012 poll, WBI asked respondents if their employers had a specific policy prohibiting workplace bullying. Only 5 percent of employers adequately addressed workplace bullying through policy. “Less than 3 percent have the courage to call bullying what it is and to craft explicit policies with credible enforcement procedures,” explains WBI.
“About one-third of employers (32.5 percent) created something but either the policy or its enforcement is considered by targets to be too weak to prevent or correct workplace bullying,” says WBI. “The majority of employers (61.9 percent) simply ignore bullying.”
WBI adds that a survey of HR professionals conducted by the HR trade association SHRM revealed that 44 percent of employers said they had no plans to create an anti-bullying policy in the future. No plans to prevent abuse and save themselves money in favor of poor work ethic narcissists? “Until there are laws, myopic employers may believe that bullying costs them nothing. This is a myth. Bullying is very expensive,” explains WBI.