Four times more common than sexual harassment or racial discrimination in the workplace, bullying should be taken seriously. While it’s non-physical, bullying can cause serious emotional harm.
What is Workplace Bullying?
Generally, workplace bullying is defined as the use of intimidation through power, influence, tone or language to affect a person negatively. Often, bullying is intentional, but at times the bully is not aware of their hurtful actions or words.
At a minimum, bullying in the workplace affects safety, productivity, trust and the workplace culture. Being bullied not only puts a huge emotional strain on someone, but in turn could put a financial strain on the company due to unhappy or less-productive employees.
Bullying is just one issue of concern in your workplace environment.
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Signs of Bullying
A few of the common signs of bullying include the following:
• Not recognizing achievements or efforts
• Not providing an employee with opportunities for development
• Changing workplace rules regularly
• Reprimanding or humiliating an employee publicly
• Name-calling or insults
• Monitoring an employee’s work more than is normal for your organization
• Spreading rumors
• Ignoring or excluding
• Setting someone up for failure
What Can Be Done?
If you feel that you or a co-worker is being bullied, do something. Some ways to take a stand on workplace bullying include:
• Report the bullying to your supervisor—if the bully is your supervisor, report the behavior to another manager or HR
• Confront the bully professionally, letting him or her know how their actions make you feel
• Report to management on your work or projects—bullies sometimes try to make it seem like others are not pulling their weight
• Try to maintain a positive outlook on the situation and your job