We all have experienced or witnessed some form of bad behavior in the workplace. Sometimes it can be as simple as co-workers not getting along or something litigious like harassment or even violence. According to a 2017 Workplace Bullying survey, 19% of American workers have been bullied and another 19% have witnessed it. Workplace bullying is defined as mistreatment of an employee by one or more employees; abusive conduct is defined as threatening, humiliating, or intimidating, work sabotage, or verbal abuse. About 22% of employers never learn about misconduct that has taken place. Of those who report 46% of the employers investigated the compliant inadequately and nothing changed. One thing is glaringly clear from these statistics – workplace bullying is a big problem in the workplace, and it is currently not being adequately addressed by companies or employees.
Carolyn Holliday the founder of Warble – an online platform that allows employees to anonymously report ‘disruptive behaviors – knows all too well what it is like to have a manager that lacks accountability. Holliday was a marketing director and only woman on her company’s leadership team when her manager started making things difficult for her.
“He was doing things that were passive aggressive and human resources wasn’t sure what to do,” she says. The manager would do subtle things like taking part in her team and making them report to someone else. He would take her project ideas and propose them to other male counterparts. Not surprising that Holliday would experience such behavior at her employer. About 70% of bullies are men (versus 30% women) and generally speaking 66% of targets are women.
Unchecked behavior in the workplace can cause a disengaged workforce and cost the US economy over $500 billion in revenue annually, according to a Gallup study. Employees who are bullied are more likely to feel dissatisfied with their work, have a high rate of absenteeism, and a reduce commitment to work. Workplace bullying also takes a toll on an employee’s health and well being. Employees who are being bullied can experience numerous physical and psychological symptoms. These symptoms can include headaches, chronic neck pain, sleep problems, anxiety, depression, suicidal ideation, and post-traumatic stress symptoms.
During one of her many crying sessions, Holliday wished there was a way to let her managers boss know what was going on. Thus the idea for Warble was conceived. Warble allows for employees to report on over 70 of the most common bad workplace behaviors. These behaviors can range from a bad attitude to discrimination. Once the system receives multiple reports about a specific incident or person the information is given to the management team. Those who report are kept anonymous and it requires a working company email.
Holliday hopes Warble will inject into the corporate workplace universal and equal accountability. “I want this to help companies identify bad behavior and also help managers and employees facilitate feedback,” she says. “Some people don’t have the soft skills that are needed to be a manager and it can have effects on the company if it goes unchecked,” she continued.
For employers, there is Warble Pro-Active which will collect data that your employees anonymously report and provide it to your management teams. Companies have access to reporting, alert notification when issues are flagged as high impact and have the ability to document and track the issues are being addressed.