Creating A Healthy Organizational Culture

Housing providers and all their agents, including those employed by other agencies which are tasked with providing social and other services, play a crucial role in establishing a culture where bullying behavior is not acceptable. Although there is relatively little research on bullying and mobbing in multifamily housing for elderly persons or those living with disability, we can judiciously adapt ideas about how to eliminate bullying in the organizational environment of the workplace, that have relevance to eliminating bullying in multifamily housing contexts. This resource may provide some ideas on how to create a culture that does not support bullying behavior

Bullying is bad for business

Housing providers and their agents, including building managers and staff, play a crucial role in establishing a culture where bullying behavior is not acceptable. According to Paul Votto, President of the National Association of Building Managers, “Bullying is bad for business.” Maureen Duffy and Len Sperry, experts on workplace mobbing, an extreme form of bullying, show that mobbing can best be addressed through organizational development. Attracting and motivating employees enables a healthy workplace culture, according to Andrew Faas, and this pays off in income, profits, productivity, and the value of the enterprise. This is even more important for non-profit and governmental organizations, especially when they face the challenge of balancing a tightening budget.

Harassment is comparable to bullying, and creates risks, increases exposure, and potential legal costs for the housing provider and their agents. Legal liabilities pose a significant hazard of civil suits by aggrieved individuals or by state or federal agencies. Insurers are recognizing that a housing provider can be held liable for damage caused by bullying. The office of Gustavo Velasquez, HUD Assistant Secretary, Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity, presumes that the housing provider is liable for harassment, either harassment by their agents or that takes place among tenants. That office has published a final rule effective from October, 2016, that will guide housing providers and their agents to ensure the rights of all persons protected by Fair Housing Act.

Where to begin?

A good place to start in preventing bullying in housing developments is for housing providers to create a positive and healthy workplace culture. A positive workplace culture has been shown to reduce absenteeism, improve employee wellbeing, performance and retention, which ultimately results in reduce costs. It also creates a culture that is more likely to take complaints of harassment and bullying seriously and deal with this sort of problem quickly. The longer bullying and harassment is allowed to continue, the harder it will be to get it stopped..

Organizational causes and remedies

Books discussing organizational causes and remedies

Barnes, Lizzie. “Bullying and Behavioral Conflict at Work: The Duality of Individual Rights”, (New York: Oxford University Press 2016)

Duffy, Maureen and Sperry, Len. Mobbing: Causes, Consequences, and Solutions, (New York: Oxford University Press, 2012).

Duffy, Maureen and Sperry, Len. Overcoming Mobbing: A Recovery Guide for Workplace Aggression and Bullying, (New York:Oxford University Press, 2013).

Halberstadt, Jerry, Stop Bullying: We can create healthy communities for the elderly and disabled (Peabody, MA:Togethering Press), 2017.

Mattice, Catherine. “Seeking Civility: How leaders, managers and HR can create a workplace free of bullying and abusive conduct”, October 19, 2015.

Fass, A. The Bully’s Trap: Bullying in the Workplace,( Mustang, OK: Tate Publishing, 2015).

A review by Jerry Halberstadt:

Webinars and videos discussing organizational causes and remedies

Boddy, C. “Bully and Corporate Psychopaths at Work”,TEDxHanzeUniversity, December 3, 2012.

Fuctch, C. “Elderly Bully”,Meeting the Challenge: Courageous Conversations on Bullying, Hoarding & Family Disputes sponsored by LeadingEdge Georga,September 19, 2016.

Keil, F. “Psychopaths in the C-suite: Fred Kiel at TedxBGI”, TEDx Talks, February 4, 2013.

Fass, A. “The Bully’s Trap” TEDxChathamKent, July 16, 2016.

Mattice, C. “Catherine Mattice defines workplace bullying and how to end it”, Civility Partners, October 19, 2015.

Mattice, C. “Getting Employment Engagement Is Easier Than You Think”, Civility Partners, October 24, 2016.

Mattice, C. “Workplace Bullying: Selling Your CEO on the Damage”, Civility Partners, September 23, 2015.

Oliver, J. “The behavior of trust in the workplace”, TEDxCesena, June 7, 2016.

Sabel, S., Meere, M. “Workplace Bullying: Definitions, Symptoms, Causes, Occurrences and Solutions”, The College for Adult Learning, June 21, 2013.

Creating a Healthy Workplace Culture

_____.”Bullying and harassment at work: A guide for managers and employers”, Acas, June, 2014.…

Drexler, P. “Are Workplace Bullies Rewarded For Their Behavior?”, Forbes,July 10, 2013.…

Eversion, J., Oxenbridge, S. “Seeking better solutions: tackling bullying and ill-treatment in Britain’s workplaces”, Acas, November, 2015.…

Marvel, J. “Silence is not golden when it comes to workplace bullies”, XL Catlin, January 15, 2015.…

Mattice, Catherine. “The Cost of Bad Behavior in the Workplace”, Civility Partners, April, 2012.…

Pontefract, D. “Is Your Workplace Full Of Corporate Bullies”, Forbes, January 5, 2016.…

Portal, C. and Pearson, C. “The Price of Incivility”, Harvard Business Review, January-February 2013.… or to avoid the paywall:…

Richardson, J. and McCord, L. “Are Workplace Bullies Sabotaging Your Ability to Compete? Learn to identify and extinguish problem behavior”, Graziadio Business Review, Volume 4 Issue 4 2001.…

Reggio, R. “Workplace Bullying: Applying Psychological Torture At Work”,Psychology Today: Cutting-Edge Leadership, February 2, 2010.…

Ritter, S. “Is it Bullying or is it Harassment? A Liability Either Way”, Willis Towers Watson Wire, October 6, 2015.…

Seppala, E. and Cameron, K. “Proof That Positive Work Cultures Are More Productive”, Harvard Business Review, December 1, 2015.…

Who Bullies and the Tactics They Use

Mamie, G. ”The Four Workplace Bully Types”, Workplace Bullying Institute, September 20, 2012.

How to Deal With a Workplace Bullying

Comfort, C. “How to Stop Workplace Bullies In Their Tracks”, Forbes, March 12, 2014.…

Dolan, C. “How to Confront an Office Bully”, Harvard Business Review, April 15 2010.

Dolan, C. and Oliver, F. “Is Your Boss a Bully? Stop Being the Target”, Harvard Business Review, November 19, 2009.

Gallo, A. “How to Deal with a Mean Colleague”, Harvard Business Review, October 16, 2014.

Fast, N. “Create a Bully-Free Workplace”,Harvard Business Review, March 18, 2010.

johnson, W. “Bullying Is a Confidence Game”,Harvard Business Review, July 13, 2012.

Morin, A. “How to Deal With A Workplace Bully: Advise For Victims, Bosses And Coworkers”, Forbes, August 21, 2015.…

Maurer, R. “Workplace-Bullying Laws on the Horizon?”,Society for Human Resource Management, July `6. 20`3.…

Portal, C. “An Antidote to Incivility”, Harvard Business Review,April 2016.

Who Gets Bullied?

_____, “Both Stars and Blunderers Get Bullied at Work”, Mind for Business: Psychological Science at Work, Association for Psychological Science, accessed September 20, 2016.…

Bailey, Sebastian. “Are Your Top Performers Picked On?, Forbes, February 4, 2014. http:://

Insurance and Liability Issues

_____.”Bullying”, Inkelaar Law, accessed May 30, 2017.

_____.”Playground Bullying Moves into Senior Living”, Product Liability Playbook: Insights Into Product Liability, Risk Avoidance and Consumer Fraud Class Actions, May 28, 2013.…

_____. “Preventing Senior Bullying”, Church Mutual Insurance Company,accessed October 29, 2016.

_____.”Safety Resources for Senior Living Communities”, Church Mutual Insurance Company, accessed October 29, 2016.…

Organizations Addressing Workplace Bullying

Bully Online:

Civility Partners:

TCB Training and Consulting:

Workplace Bullying Institute:

Government Anti-Bullying Policies and Initiatives

Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety

_____. “Bullying in the Workplace”,OSH Answers Fact Sheets, Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety, accessed September 22, 2016.

United States Department of Housing and Urban Development

HUD is taking complaints of harassment of tenants who fall into a protected class seriously—and bullying is covered under HUD’s definition of harassment. When harassment is pervasive in housing, this can constitute a ‘hostile environment’ and HUD can potentially get involved.

_____,”FR-5248-F-02 Quid Pro Quo and Hostile Environment and Harassment and Liability for Discriminatory Housing Practices Under the Fair Housing Act”,, accessed September 26, 2016.

_____. “HUD Proposes Rule to Clarify Protections for Victims of Harassment in Housing”, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development,October 21, 2015.…

_____,”NAHT’s Comments in Support of New Anti-Bullying Rule”,National Association of HUD Tenants: Save Our Homes,accessed September 26, 2016.

Bonny Zeh, a research associate with the Stop Bullying Coalition, with assistance from Jerry Halberstadt, Coordinator of the Stop Bullying Coalition has assembled these helpful resources.

The Stop Bullying Coalition has no control over the nature, contents or availability of the web sites listed. The inclusion of a link on this page does not imply recommendation or enforcement by the Stop Bullying Coalition.

This list will be updated on an ‘as needed’ basis.

This list was last updated June 2. 2017