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.
Click here for a more physical guide about workplace safety.
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
Safety consulting and training for employee relations are two areas of expertise covered by Beimdiek’s Professional Services Department. Contact us for more information!