Bullying happens across ages and environments – including the workplace. Everyone deserves to feel comfortable and at ease while they’re working, especially when you consider how much of our time it takes up. But unfortunately, workplace bullying is on the rise.
It could be a critical boss singling out one employee to blame and punish, or a workforce repeatedly choosing to ignore their contributions to a project. Any behaviour that makes you feel unhappy, uncomfortable or pressured could be considered bullying. But what can you do about it?
This great guide to workplace bullying suggests the following:
1. Get to know your company’s policy
Your employer should have a policy on behaviour in the workplace, including information on bullying. Find out all the details you can, including processes on informing supervisors and the steps you can expect them to take.
2. Start informally
If you feel safe enough, the best thing you can do is to first talk to the person who is bullying you. In some cases, they might not be aware how their behaviour is affecting you. Talking to them may cause them to reflect on how they’ve treated you.
3. Make management or HR aware
In many instances, it isn’t possible to confront the perpetrator head on. Instead, you’ve got to make the relevant people aware of what’s going on. Whether its management, HR, or your trade union, they’ll be able to take steps on your behalf to resolve the issue.
4. Keep any evidence
Gathering a record of the date, times, place, details and names of any witnesses of any bullying could prove invaluable if anyone asks you to substantiate your claims. Save any horrible emails, and document the times you’ve been left out of relevant meetings.
5. Find someone to talk to
Bullying is a stressful thing to go through. You shouldn’t have to experience it alone. Having someone you trust to talk to will help you minimise the impact it has on your life.
6. Make an official complaint
If you feel like your problem hasn’t been taken seriously by those you informed at work, and the bullying hasn’t stopped, you can seek to make an official complaint via the usual grievance procedures. Your employee handbook will detail this process.