How to deal with bullying in the workplace?

By: Together Abroad 20-07-2015

Categories:* Ethics ,

Workplace bullying, shortly defined as “the repeated unethical and unfavourable treatment of one person by another in the workplace” (Constance Dierickx, Ph.D), is quite common nowadays. However, not every employee knows how to properly deal with it.

Even though bullying is an important social issue today, employees often do not recognise that they are being bullied. It has been proven that bullying is harmful for both the company, as it causes demotivation, destroys team work and even leads to staff turnovers, as well as causes serious damage to employee’s health, both morally and physically.

Here are some hidden forms of possible bullying, followed by tips on how to deal with it.

You are being bullied at work when:
• You find yourself excluded from what is happening or when the necessary work knowledge is kept from you.
• You are either overloaded with work or given tasks are being replaced with inappropriate, easy tasks (like photocopying or making coffee).
• You receive unrealistic goals and deadlines which are unachievable or tend to be changed without notice and you mostly receive instructions via emails or post-it notes.
• Your performance is frequently being criticised.
• You are treated much more strictly than other employees and often invited to "informal" meetings which in reality are disciplinary hearings.
• You are forced to work long hours under threat of being fired, and your annual or sickness leave are denied.

How to deal with bullies:

Control your emotions
• Control your stress level, do not allow your stress level to rise nor get you down. Ask friends and family for a help and support. 
•Avoid responding directly to provoked statements; always be polite, even if faced with rudeness, because most of what bullies throw at you can be used against you. 
•Try not to take the bullying too seriously; there are much more important things in life than you job.

Keep note of everything 
• Keep memos, emails and other documents of what you’ve said and done, and what others have said and done that are evident of bullying.
•Use a voice recorder, if you are bullied in private.

Clevery ask help 
•If your managers do not support or believe, look for support from neutral third parties.
•Try to find a trusted companion as a witness in any meeting where bullying is happening.


By: Inna Iljina