If you’re a working adult, chances are you’ve been on the receiving end of bullying in workplace.
Bullying is a complex issue that can be difficult to tackle. However, it’s important to understand that it won’t go away on its own. In fact, this behavior could have dire consequences if left unchecked.
If you think about it, most workplaces function with a certain degree of competitiveness and rivalry among staff members. This is normal and unavoidable; however, things can start to get out of hand when people take their competitive natures too far.
Bullying in workplace is an act that tends to target others for their personal characteristics such as race or gender. It could also be done as a form of intimidation or coercion as well as a form of social exclusion.
What is Bullying in Workplace?
Workplace Bullying is when someone in your workplace makes you feel uncomfortable and threatens your job security.
They may make you feel like you aren’t good enough for your job role, or that you are losing respect from your colleagues. Workplace bullying can have a negative impact on people’s mental health and even their physical health.
At times it may not be possible to change the work environment or switch jobs to escape from workplace bullying. In such cases it is highly helpful to consult a therapist who can help you to make sense of your feelings and develop stronger attitude and better coping mechanisms.
It can also affect your work-life by affecting the quality of the work you do. You may work slower or put in less effort if you’re worried about getting into an argument or being treated differently if you make a mistake.
Bullying in workplace can also have a financial cost. You may miss out on opportunities for growth or promotion because you’re too worried about upsetting someone or getting into an argument. Bullying in workplace is an issue that can affect anyone. It’s important to know how to identify and deal with it.
Identify the signs of bullying in workplace
If someone in your workplace tends to be openly critical of members of staff, this could be a sign that they’re bullying you. If you are the victim of bullying in workplace, be aware of the subtle signs that you may be treated in an unfair manner.
If someone is constantly giving you negative feedback, or voicing thoughts like “They aren’t good enough for this job,” pay attention. While you don’t want to let these comments bother you, it’s important to remember that they should be a signal to investigate the situation.
If you’re being bullied at work, you may also notice a change in your team’s behavior. For example, they may start treating you differently than they did before. They may become unhelpful or put you under a lot of pressure.
You may also notice that other members of staff are acting strangely or have begun avoiding you.
If you notice any of these signs, communicate the same to your manager or HR representative. They may be able to help you resolve the situation.
However, it may not always be feasible for employees to communicate to the HR about their grievances especially when they are closely connected to their work colleagues and affecting their mental and emotional well-being. To avoid such situations and create a positive environment researchers have found out that having a counselor on-site can be highly effective in resolving personal concerns of the employees and increase their job satisfaction.
Here are several powerful strategies that can be implemented to tackle the alarming problem of bullying in workplace and create a positive work environment.
Set clear expectations for your team
As a manager, it’s important to set clear expectations for the team. This will help to prevent bullying. Make sure that clear boundaries are drawn and that everyone is treated with the same level of respect.
Holding regular staff meeting and enforcing an attitude of empathy and compassion can perhaps be the most effective way to prevent bullying in workplace and foster employee wellness.
Empathy building is no easy task. It requires consistent efforts and group exercises. Opting for employee wellness program can take the load off your back and help to develop a positive work attitude and a growth boosting work environment.
Understand why people are acting the way they are
Workplace bullying often stems from a person’s insecurities. Someone might feel insecure about their own skills or competence and use bullying as a way to feel better about themselves.
Even when someone is bullying you, it’s important to remember that they are probably hurting inside. It’s important to communicate your concerns with the right person. They may be able to help you find out more and resolve the situation.
However, it’s important to remember that the person bullying you probably doesn’t know how they are hurting you either. You should remember that this behavior is rooted in insecurity and fear. Being empathetic towards the person can help to resolve bullying in workplace from its roots.
Communicate clearly and build trust
Communication is the key to resolving issues at workplace and especially bullying in workplace. When you feel that you are being bullied it could be difficult to openly share you thoughts with someone. However, try to open up to someone you trust and make sense of what is actually happening.
You can directly and clearly communicate your concerns with the person who is bullying you. Let them know that you are not comfortable with such type of behavior. Avoidance will only help you in the short run but if you really want to resolve bullying in workplace then clear and straightforward communication can be highly impactful.
Moreover, the company needs to take necessary steps to foster trust among the employees. Regular staff meeting, team building exercises can be a great and fun way to build trust in the company and prevent any signs of bullying in workplace.
Learn how to create strong boundaries at work
Creating boundaries is about protecting yourself. It’s important to remember that you don’t deserve to be treated badly. It’s OK to stand up for yourself. You don’t have to accept any form of disrespect, harassment, or intimidation.
Bullies often use language that is coded. For example, they might talk about “showing people who are boss” or “getting the message across.” Be aware of these types of phrases and take them as cues of bullying that needs to be addressed before they turn into anything too serious.
Boundaries are about protecting your sense of self and your job security and showing that you aren’t willing to tolerate any form of disrespect.
You should clearly state what is and isn’t acceptable by you in your workspace. For example, you should state that swear words, sexual language, and threats are not allowed.
Are you having trouble in setting strong boundaries at workplace? This could be a reflection of poor self-esteem, fear or feelings of inferiority. Such feelings serve as a serious hindrance in your path to success, and can even make you an easy victim of bulling in workplace.
If you want to climb the ladder of success and earn the much deserved respect in your company then you need to work through your personal issues. A life coach can assist you in becoming the best version of yourself and design the life of your dreams.
Your Major Take-Aways
Bulling in workplace can take obvious forms such as passing lewd comments, shoving threats at you or intentionally trying to sabotage your career. Bullying in workplace can also be subtle like excessive flattery, hiding important information from you, purposely avoiding you, or showing indirect ways of resentment towards you.
In any case, bullying in workplace is a serious issues and needs to be addressed on a personal as well as on an organizational level.
- Setting clear expectations and work ethics by the company
- Building empathy and understanding the underlying factors behind bullying in workplace
- Access to counseling services that are confidential and maintains privacy of the employees
- Setting boundaries at workplace
- Clear & Crisp communication about behaviors that you are uncomfortable with
Bullying in workplace can pose a serious threat to the employees’ wellness and pull down the reputation and success of the employees as well as the company. Taking these necessary measure can combat the problem and create a healthy working environment.