Keyboard activism: Three ways to support the workplace anti-bullying movement
The Workplace Bullying Institute has started a neat little Facebook awareness initiative using Labor Day as a way of calling attention to workplace bullying. I’d like to build on that by suggesting three ways in which people can support this effort without leaving their keyboards:
1. American readers, urge your legislators to support the Healthy Workplace Bill
As many readers know, the Healthy Workplace Bill (HWB) is proposed legislation I’ve authored that provides targets of severe workplace bullying with a legal claim for damages and creates incentives for employers to prevent workplace bullying. If you’d like to see this bill become law, the most important thing you can do is to contact your state legislators and urge them to sponsor/co-sponsor/support the HWB.
For more information, go to the Healthy Workplace Bill website. Versions of the bill are active in about a dozen states as of this writing. We have Healthy Workplace Advocates groups in states across the country. You can become active as time and interest permit. But contacting your state legislators is Step One — no other form of legislative advocacy is as effective as direct contact with your elected officials.
2. Post online comments to articles about workplace bullying
Be an online “bird dog.” When articles about workplace bullying appear online, post a supportive comment that reinforces the seriousness of this destructive behavior and identifies ways to prevent and respond to it.
Do not underestimate the usefulness of this form of dialog and commentary. Many people read these online comments, and their impressions of a given subject often will be shaped as much by the tenor of the comments as by the articles themselves.
3. Spread the word within your online social networks
Facebook, LinkedIn, and other social networks are excellent places to spread the word about workplace bullying. Take a minute to post or share a relevant news item or blog post with friends and colleagues on your online networks.
If you’ve ever clicked a link to someone’s Facebook post, you know that this is an easy and effective way to share information. It is one of the most time and cost effective methods of public education.
If you have been doing these things or otherwise participating in this grassroots social movement, thank you for being a part of the solution. Your work is helping people and making a difference in our workplaces.