Mobbing is one of the most serious problems that can happen in a company. Knowing how to detect it and offer solutions are some of the greatest challenges of human resources departments.
Psychosocial risks are the most frequent in the workplace, but they are also the most difficult to detect. Mobbing is one of the most dangerous of these risks and carries the most serious consequences for employees.
Both the Occupational Health & Safety and Human Resources Departments must have sufficient training and knowledge to be able to detect mobbing scenarios in time, in addition to having an appropriate action protocol in place, both for its prevention and for its resolution, when it does occur.
Let’s examine in a little more detail what Mobbing is and what it represents in the work environment.
What is ‘Mobbing’, or workplace harassment?
Mobbing, or workplace harassment, defines all systematic and progressive actions or situations that aim to worsen the work environment of a certain employee or group of employees. They are personal attacks, intended to destroy the dignity of the person or group.
It is important to note that workplace harassment is not the same as a workplace dispute. Workplace disputes are usually occasional, and stem from work-related issues.
Frequency, intent and duration are the factors that differentiate workplace harassment from workplace conflict.
Some of the most common behaviours of workplace harassment (mobbing) include:
- Verbal assault.
- Starting rumours.
- Attacks on people’s social relationships and private lives.
- Physical violence
- Attacks and insults online and via social networks.
- Violation of secrecy.
The consequences of mobbing are really serious for the victim, and can be categorised into various different types:
- Muscular disorders: cervical, lumbar, back, etc.
- Cardiovascular Disorders: arrhythmias, hypertension, etc.
- Respiratory disorders: hot flushes, hyperventilation, etc.
- Gastrointestinal disorders: nausea, vomiting, etc.
- Depressive episodes.
- Selective attention.
- Personality changes.
- Obsessive traits, etc.
- Involvement in other personal problems.
Preventing Mobbing – a priority task
It is important to remember that working people have the right to effective protection in terms of health and safety at work.
In turn, they also define that the employer must guarantee the health and safety of their employees in all aspects related to work.
That said, mobbing is considered a psychosocial risk that must be considered by the occupational health & safety department of a company in its prevention strategies.
In order to apply effective mobbing prevention protocols, the first action to take is training on this type of risk, to clarify the concept, characteristics and what it entails in a workplace environment.
A good occupational health and safety training plan will include an extensive section on these types of risks.
In this way, it is much easier to keep in mind the types of scenarios that constitute workplace harassment and how to detect it in time.
At the same time, employees will have the necessary arguments and knowledge to develop a suitable prevention plan to beat mobbing in the workplace.
The Human Resources and Occupational Health & Safety departments are two key actors in the reduction and elimination of mobbing in companies, fundamental for its early detection and monitoring. We invite those responsible for training in psychosocial risks to contact us. We offer very specific training to avoid and beat this important problem, which has such a negative impact on the companies that it affects.