What is workplace bullying?
Workplace bullying is a persistent pattern of mistreatment from others in the workplace that causes either physical or emotional harm
Why is it a particularly difficult problem?
Unlike other types of bullying workplace bullying often operates within the established rules and policies of the organization. It can easily go unnoticed or fail to get enough attention it deserves.
We’ve put together an objective approach to identify, assess and act on workplace bullying.
It’s surprising but it’s quite possible that you are being bullied without even realizing it. Use these warning signs to identify workplace bullying.
- When you wake up in the morning you dread going to the office
- Your family thinks you are obsessed with work
- You use your PTOs(paid time offs) to just to take mental breaks and say sane.
- You feel exhausted & drained all the time
- Things you once used to enjoy no longer interest you
- You try to complete a task without proper training or information, but that work is never good enough for your boss
- Your one on one meetings only result in more humiliation and no constructive feedback
- Your tormentors’ actions are driven by personal agenda and have nothing to do employers best interests
- Your colleagues suddenly stop working and socializing with you
- You experience anxiety and always feel something bad is going to happen
- You never get to peacefully do your work and are always interfered
- You are insulted and yelled at in front of your colleagues, yet others feel it’s justified
- HR and senior management does not offer much help and asks you to “work it out between yourselves”
- You confront the tormentor to stop the abuse and you are accused of harassment
- Tormentor constantly shows distrust in you despite your objective excellence at work
- Constant distrust makes you doubt yourself and you start losing self confidence
- Some coworkers privately agree on tormentors bad behavior but do not do anything to help or even deny ever agreeing with you
- Your requests to transfer to another team are mysteriously denied
It’s important to assess the impact of bullying. Bullying results in stress which can affect you in multiple ways.
- Tremors of lips, hands
- Rapid heartbeat & breathing
- Increased blood pressure
- Uncontrollable crying
- High level of anxiety
- Damage to sense of well-being, self-respect and self-confidence
- Sense of shame inflicted by tormentor
- Guilt for allowing tormentor to harm you
- Panic attacks
- Clinical depression
- PTSD(post traumatic stress disorder) as a result of human-inflicted abuse
- Feeling ostracized at work
- Reduced social involvement due to increased sadness and anger
- Constant incidents of ostracism can lead to feelings of helplessness, despair & alienation
- Forced to look for transfer from a job you once enjoyed
- Forced to switch to another job with possibly less pay and benefits
- Quitting work could mean losing health insurance
- Call it what it is – Bullying, harassment, emotional abuse
- Understand that problem is not with you, it’s with the tormentor
- Document all instances of bullying regularly on paper
- Take sick leave to regain mental stability and determine your next steps
- Assess whether you are emotionally stable enough to stay and fight or leave to preserve health
- If you can’t arrive on a decision, take help from a professional to assess whether it’s healthy for you to stay and fight back
- Expose bully’s behavior to the highest level of management(apart from HR) you can reach
- Stick to proving bully’s impact on employers’ business since employer may not care much about impact on you
- If you finally decide to leave let everyone know about the bully – you do not have to leave in silent shame
- Do not worry about bully damaging your future chances of employment with current employer. Understand that your employer allowed this to happen and there are many other good employers out there.
- If it’s a family owned business and the bully is part of the family, the situation is unlikely to improve and it’s better to leave that job
We hope this serves as a guide to people suffering from workplace bullying. If this helps you in any way or you have something else that worked for you please let us know.