What can be done to combat workplace bullying?

Bullying is becoming more prevalent in schools and on playgrounds. According to employees, workplace bullying has also become a serious issue. 


According to a recent study conducted by the job search website CareerBuilder, more workers encountered workplace bullies in 2012. One-third of workers, or 35%, reported being bullied at work, an increase from 27% last year.


Bullying has evolved over time, and the internet age has seen the rise of cyberbullying, which allows bullies to torment their victims anonymously and from afar. The internet has also assisted victims of bullying in bringing their stories to light and in creating the critical mass required to make movements happen. Bullying is now considered unacceptable, at least in North American schools. That is not to say that bullying does not still occur, but victims now have a voice, and people are listening. Therefore, the most important is to report workplace bullying. 


Despite the great strides we have made as a society in dealing with bullying in our schools, numerous recent studies have shown that it is alive and well in the workplace. A quick internet search yields an endless list of resources related to workplace bullying. So, what exactly is workplace bullying? 


Bullying in the workplace is defined as verbal, nonverbal, psychological, and physical abuse and humiliation. Bullies can be difficult to deal with because they frequently work within the rules and policies established by the employer therefore, it is very important to report workplace bullying tp the relevant authorities. Academic researchers have classified workplace bullying into five distinct categories:


Threat to Professional Status includes things like dismissing someone’s ideas in meetings, using discipline to intimidate, and humiliation. 


Threats to Personal Standing refer to slandering, insulting, and intimidating a victim’s reputation. 


Isolation is defined as a lack of access to opportunities and support. 


Overwork is defined as overloading an employee with work and assigning impossible deadlines. 


Destabilization is the process of preparing an employee to fail, such as by constantly changing project scope and expectations. 


According to recent studies, workplace bullying is three to four times more common than sexual or racial discrimination, and more than half of American workers report being bullied at work. 71% of bullies are superior to their victims, and 58% of bullies are female. Most of the victims do not report workplace bullying due to several reasons. 


Don’t suffer in silence if you believe you are the victim of a workplace bully! Here are some things you should do: 


Speaking about it – remaining silent is the best way to ensure that you will continue to be bullied. If a bully makes a rude or inappropriate remark about you, ask them not to speak to you in that manner again. If you notice another person being bullied, speak up for them and offer them your support. 


Do not Hold it in Speaking with the bully may resolve the issue, but do not engage in a verbal brawl. They may not even realize their actions are offensive to you. Stay calm because bullies enjoy manipulating people’s emotions.


Speaking to the HR Department- If you believe you can trust your HR department, discuss your concerns with them. However, be cautious when approaching HR because they work for the company, not you. Speak with a union official if you are a member. 

Taking a note of it all – Keep detailed notes about incidents, including dates and times, as well as the names of anyone who may have witnessed bullying behavior. Emails should be saved to report workplace bullying. It is critical to developing a pattern of repeated behaviors. 


Speaking to a Counselor – If your company provides employee assistance or counseling, take advantage of it. Bullying has a negative psychological impact. Further to this, there are several organozations that provides ethics-enabling workplace technology which empowers the employees and their organizations and extend aid in tracking, reporting, and resolving misconduct in the workplace.


Get to know your legal rights – Learn everything you can about workplace bullying and your legal rights in your area. 


Formally registering Complaint – If your employer has a process for filing a formal complaint against your bully, use it.

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