Raymond is a high-level nurse and professional whose work raises the rating of the entire department. However, he has an unpleasant character feature that annoys his colleagues – he is a conceited omniscient. At the same time, Raymond still seeks to be part of the team and share the details of his personal life with them. Other nurses used the information received to joke at the annoying colleague cruelly. The nature of this organizational problem is related to human behavior – Raymond is faced with workplace bullying.
There are several theories applicable to this situation. For example, the informal organizational approach recognizes that in any workplace, in addition to the formal structure, there are also hidden systems based on friendship and relationships. They can have a beneficial effect on work, or, on the contrary, interfere with it. It can also be assumed that there is an attribution theory and motivation according to which people look for internal and external reasons for their successes and failures (Borkowski & Meese, 2020). Against the background of Raymond’s highly professional actions, other nurses can blame him for own setbacks or for the fact that their success is not so noticeable.
The primary intervention in dealing with workplace bullying is tacking measures to prevent it. Arnetz et al. (2019) found that the critical elements in preventing bullying are competent and ethical leadership and methods to develop trust and collegiality. Escartín (2016) also found that the most significant interventions should be primarily aimed at bringing the team together. In Raymond’s case, secondary intervention is needed – informal communication with participants, as well as a demonstration of intolerance to bullying and measures to improve internal communication.
Bulling is a counterproductive type of workplace behavior, as it threatens to disrupt the workflow. I have not yet witnessed such events, but I can confidently assume that they have serious effects for both the organization and the victim. Those who have been bullied at work often worry that they will not be able to regain their previous confidence. Capable, active, and creative people become anxious and even initiative-free. Simultaneously, bullying negatively affects workplace morale since aggressors can show their other negative features, and victims can lose enthusiasm about work. In turn, these problems reduce the efficiency of work and affect the care of patients as some crucial messages may not be transmitted, and patients may feel stressed and affected by other issues. Moreover, caring for patients requires mindfulness, and bullying can distract and promote the emergence of medication administration errors.
A strong leader can organize the work of the team in such a way as to prevent bullying. Their irresponsibility and inattention to employee relationships, on the contrary, can contribute to bullying and encourage its continuation. In Raymond’s case, unethical leadership that does not recognize bullying is one of the ethical issues. It is also possible to distinguish a toxic workplace culture in which employees do not respect colleagues.
The problem of bullying can also have financial implications for the hospital. If the conflict is not resolved, Raymond may be forced to look for another job. Finding and training a new employee takes time and resources. Also, financial costs may be necessary to invite a professional who could solve the bullying problem, such as a specialist in resolving workplace conflicts. Since Raymond is an excellent nurse, his departure or loss of enthusiasm will affect the department’s ranking, which could cause a decline in funding.
In my opinion, this situation is very unpleasant for the hospital’s working process and requires urgent intervention. I would suggest an open dialogue between Raymond and the other nurses to understand the claims against each other. It is also necessary to clarify to employees that the hospital will not tolerate such behavior and requires mutual respect from them. During communication, one can invite employees to find a common solution to the problem. For example, Raymond may promise to be more restrained, and his abusers offer him an apology and promise to discuss claims further openly.
Arnetz, J. E., Fitzpatrick, L., Cotten, S. R., & Jodoin, C. (2019). Workplace bullying among nurses: developing a model for intervention. Violence and Victims, 34(2), 346-362. Web.
Borkowski, N., & Meese, K. A. (2020). Organizational behavior in health care. Jones & Bartlett Publishers.
Escartín, J. (2016). Insights into workplace bullying: psychosocial drivers and effective interventions. Psychology Research and Behavior Management, 9, pp. 157-169. Web.