Belongingness. Is that a real word? But we digress as it seems that someone has finally read the press release from the University of British Columbia’s Sauder School of Business concerning the study of ostracism on employee health and morale and discovery that it can be more harmful to one’s mental and physical well-being than harassment or other forms of bullying. 

Ostracism we are told ‘is where people do not engage some co-workers on the same level as others, leaving them feeling left out and excluded.’  

Do we really need a study to tell us that silent treatment is a form of bullying? That people who feel excluded are more likely to quit? That it is a socially acceptable form of bullying as there are no legal sanctions (and no proof that it occurs).

Given the current debate about bullying and the perception that this study is seen as somewhat revelatory then one has to wonder at the effectiveness of ‘anti-bullying’ programs.  You don’t have to be friends with your colleagues but at least be civil.

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