Bullying At WorkBy Rita Gangwani on Mar 24, 2023
The definition of Bullying is physical or verbal aggression that is repeated over a period and, in contrast to meanness, involves an imbalance of power.Jealousy of others receiving praise, promotions or any other recognition someone may get can often trigger bullying behavior in those who feel themselves to have been overlooked. Bullying is a one-sided action and very different to any other kind of workplace conflict between two people. If you are doing nothing wrong, and the negative, misery-inducing behavior continues, it is clear to see that the problem does not lie with you but with others. Often bullying tactics are used to exert existing power or to gain power that the bully feels like they are lacking. As in most cases of bullying, the blame lies with the person doing the bullying and not the victim.
A few examples of bullying include:
- Targeted practical jokes
- Being purposely misled about work duties, like incorrect deadlines or unclear directions
- Continued denial of requests for time off without an appropriate or valid reason
- Threats, humiliation, and other verbal abuse
- Excessive performance monitoring
- Overly harsh or unjust criticism
There could be a huge variety of reasons that someone feels the need to bully:
- Maybe they were bullied as a child
- Maybe they have come from an environment where aggression is common
- Maybe they have come from another role where rudeness is typical
- Maybe they are taking out frustrations from other parts of their life at work
How can bullying affect the workplace?
Bullying affects the overall “health” of an organization. An “unhealthy” workplace can have many effects. In general, these effects include:
- Increased absenteeism.
- Increased turnover.
- Increased stress.
- Increased costs for employee assistance programs (EAPs), recruitment, etc.
- Increased risk for incidents.
- Decreased productivity and motivation.
- Decreased morale.
- Reduced corporate image and customer confidence.
- Poor customer service.
- The first and most important thing to do is talk to a trusted colleague or to a friend outside of work,
- Ensure other people know what is going on and get their advice
- Talking to your bully directly about their actions and the way you are feeling may also be an option,
- There’s a chance they could be unaware of the hurt they are causing.
- If neither of these options works, talking to your manager or HR department is the next logical step.
- Ensure you are keeping a note of all instances of bullying in order to explain the situation clearly and thoroughly to them.
- Most importantly, it all your efforts go waste, it could be time to move on and accept that the environment is not the place for you.
Bullying is a serious issue in many workplaces. While many companies have a zero-tolerance policy, bullying can sometimes be hard to recognize or prove, making it difficult for managers to take action. Other companies may not have any policies about bullying.
Taking steps to prevent workplace bullying can benefit organizations and the health of their employees. If you’ve been bullied, know you can safely take steps to combat the bullying without confronting the perpetrator. Remember to take care of your health first.