Bullied mature workers – friend or foe?

Experienced team members can be amazing mentors and informal leaders. They can help you build a positive culture and business success. Yet when targeted by workplace bullying they can become your foe.

I recently explored the question of how mature workers respond to workplace bullying. When first faced with bullying, many workers initially respond by working harder. On finding this doesn’t stop the bullying employees tend to stop trying and become disengaged.

At that point in time, mature workers change their approach. According to one research report, only 26% of mature workers quit. They were also more likely to talk to the bully and seek support from unions or legal professionals.

However, more than a quarter of more mature workers were likely to use strategies of subtle defiance, and purposefully sabotaging, their abuser. Considering 60% of the perceived bully was a higher ranking employee, they were actively working against the organisation’s representative and interests.

Does it have to be this way? More mature workers bring a wealth of knowledge and experience. Instead of an environment that encourages them to use that in a negative way, we can engage them to create successful businesses and to prevent workplace bullying. That’s good for your business.

How do you engage your mature workers for their knowledge and expertise in your workplace? Do you engage them to prevent workplace bullying?

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