Workplace Harassment


Workplace harassment is a set of bad practices carried out by colleagues or superiors towards a worker. This affects the harassed individual, reducing their productivity.

In other words, workplace harassment is a situation in which a person is being harassed within their workplace. This psychological abuse can be from other employees who are at the same level or from superiors (bosses).

In this sense, when workplace harassment is by bosses it is known as bossing and when it is by colleagues situated at the same level it is called mobbing.

Causes of workplace harassment

Although there are very diverse causes of workplace harassment, in general, we can highlight the following:

  • Not having social skills.
  • Not having a good relationship with superiors.
  • Superiors with a very authoritative personality.
  • Lack of selfesteem.
  • Lack of a good organizational climate.
  • Manifestation of personal problems in attitude towards work.
  • Refusal to participate in certain situations proposed by the company.

Apart from the above causes, we could also highlight some as superiors who show envy over their subordinates or who have a predilection for some workers over others.

For example, if a company is financially forced to lay off staff, some bosses force "unwanted" workers to leave their jobs through workplace harassment. In this way, they get someone else to keep that position.

Consequences of workplace harassment

In the same way, these causes have direct consequences on the professional and personal life of the victim:

  • Low productivity of the harassed worker.
  • Transform work problems into personal problems.
  • Damage to the reputation of the company.
  • Fear on the part of other workers.
  • The desired results are not achieved in the mission and vision of the organization.
  • High staff turnover that entails higher training expenses.
  • Less innovation and proposal of ideas.

Thus, workers who are harassed, and even their own colleagues upon seeing the situation, are less incentivized to do their best. In addition, these problems, as we have already indicated, can end up leading to others of a personal nature.

For example, someone who is harassed at work might end up thinking that their work is worthless. This could directly affect your mood and relationship with loved ones.


Imagine a situation in which a company is reducing staff. Instead of directly firing less productive workers, however, they overload them with tasks, move them to smaller offices, and exclude them from certain decisions.

With the above, the company seeks the employee to resign. This can happen, for example, because the cost of firing someone, due to the severance payments that must be paid, may be greater than accepting their resignation. So, the firm seeks to force the second.

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