Bullying has always been viewed as a playground issue, yet it has crept into workplaces and become a significant problem. It occurs in an environment where there are human relations. And it becomes a big problem in circumstances where a victim cannot escape such as a workplace. There have been several occasions where workplace bullying has turned into violent forms of harassment, turning some places of employment into terrifying bullying grounds.
Signs of Bullying at Work
In the workplace, you can experience bullying through various ways. Bullying can either be verbal or physical, occur face-to-face, by email or through the phone. Some examples of bullying include being singled out and treated differently, or being criticized continuously without valid reasons. Other examples may be being shouted at, threatened and humiliated in front of your colleagues, being excluded from what is happening in your team and being given unrealistic deadlines. Bullying can also be in the form of denial of information of work at hand, last-minute withdrawal from something you have passionately worked on, being a recipient of formal written complaints and hate mails and continuously being made to feel responsible for messes you did not create. Forced resignations and suspensions without valid reasons can amount to bullying.
Effects of Workplace Bullying
Being bullied at work can leave you scared, anxious, depressed and suicidal. Confidence in yourself and your work is reduced considerably, which makes you less active and less motivated to come to work and do your job.
Workplace bullying can also result in stress and ill-health. New research has described bullying as a ‘severe social stressor’ which affects the metabolism, appetite and weight, which increases the likelihood of developing diabetes. Consequently, life outside work becomes stressful, and your family relationships become strained. You also experience physical signs of stress such as headaches, backaches, sleeplessness, ulcers, nausea and high blood pressure.
How to take on Bullying
You can tackle bullying problem by being prepared, for when the time comes for an impartial hearing. You can achieve this by keeping a diary of the bullying incidences including reference times, dates and circumstances. The diary constitutes evidence which will help your employer investigate the matter. Joining a union will also help protect you at work in cases where the bully is your employer. It is also advisable to take a friend or your union rep to any hearings about a formal complaint.
Expressing yourself can help curtain bullying activities towards you. Share your views and thoughts openly with your colleagues and also seek support in dealing with the bullying issue. If possible make it known to the bully that their behavior is unacceptable and they should stop. Inform a senior manager with proof of the bullying instance.
Knowing your boundaries and limits to what other people can say to you and behave with you ensures that you do not put up with what is not acceptable to you.
If your employer fails to solve your bullying complaint, you can file a formal complaint through the company’s grievance channels. And if that does not work and the harassment continues, you can take the case to an employment tribunal.
In conclusion, bullying can result in considerable damages to the staff while creating an unfavorable working environment. If you ever suffer from bullying, you should join a union for representation of your interests and get your voice heard. For the benefits of a safe workspace, the government should put into place legislation that helps combat bullying and harassment in the workplace.