When we think about bullying, we typically think about the playground bullies from our schooldays. Unfortunately, bullying is something that is not always left behind on the school playground. Bullying can also be experienced in the place of work.
What is workplace bullying?
Workplace bullying is defined as repeated, unreasonable actions of individuals (or a group) directed towards an employee (or a group of employees), which are intended to intimidate, degrade, humiliate, or undermine; or which create a risk to the health or safety of the employee(s). It is a systematic campaign of interpersonal destruction that can jeopardise your health, your career and your confidence. It is often surprisingly to do with power and control in terms of popularity and access to information. Workers that are often doing a good job and have high integrity and authenticity find themselves being singled out by less able staff members who tend to operate in groups as the employee that is singled out becomes more and more of a threat as each day passes.
What are the signs of bullying in the workplace?
Bullying in the workplace can be both obvious and subtle, there are many types of bullying and the following list has been provided to give an idea of ways bullying may happen within the workplace.
Being overly critical.
Setting impossible expectations or deadlines.
Ignoring emails and messages.
Excluding someone from meetings or social work gatherings.
Intentionally withholding information or giving someone the wrong information.
Using someone else as a scapegoat.
Taking credit for someone else’s ideas.
Purposefully preventing career advancement.
Calling someone derogatory names.
Putting down or negatively remarking about someone’s work.
Undermining or deliberately impeding someone else’s work.
Belittling someone’s opinions.
Denying holiday or annual leave.
Purposefully asking someone to come in on their day off.
Threatening physical abuse.
Bullying within the workplace can affect our health in a physical, emotional and mental way and can create a toxic and unproductive workplace environment.
What should you do if you’re being bullied?
Calmly tell the person that his or her behaviour is unacceptable and ask them to stop.
Keep copies of any letters, e-mails, messages etc.. you have received from this person.
Keep an informed diary or journal of any incidents or events.
Report the bullying to your manager or the person outlined in your company’s complaints procedure as set out in your contract or handbook.
Seek legal advice.
How can we help? We offer one to one advice and workshops to support and offer advice to effectively tackle this ever such growing problem across the UK.