Being Bullied at Work? Here’s What You Can Do…
How to manage workplace bullying effectively
Workplace bullying is a serious issue in workplaces across Australia and according to Safe Work Australia, 37% of workers have reported being sworn or yelled at in the workplace.
Risk factors associated with bullying and harassment are anxiety, depression and suicide. 39% of Australian workers claim to be experiencing a mental health disorder as a result of workplace bullying.
Under no circumstances is bullying in the workplace ok. You don’t have to grin and bear it, or dread going to work each day.
Learn how to manage workplace bullying effectively and take control of the situation.
What is Workplace Bullying?
Workplace bullying comes in many forms, including:
- Using offensive language
- Intimidation of any kind
- Malicious or insulting behaviour
- Undermining or humiliating someone
- Abuse of power to gain control over someone else
- Sabotaging the work of others
- Alienating people
- Physical abuse
Workplace bullying examples
Some examples of workplace bullying are:
- Gossiping and spreading spiteful rumours about a colleague
- Making threats about job security to control a situation
- Demeaning someone and setting them up to fail
- Blocking a promotion or training opportunity for no reason
What to do about workplace bullying
Feel like you’re being bullied or harassed at work?
What can you do about it? Well, quite a lot.
- Remove yourself from the situation. See your doctor and take stress leave.
- Keep a diary and write down every single incident, describing what happens and when. This will form the basis of your evidence should you need to take things further.
- Debrief and tell someone else what is happening. Speak to colleagues, friends and family.
- Talk to your boss. Explain the situation and how the bullying is affecting you. Take your diary with you and a list of all the points you need to cover as this will keep the meeting focused.
- Seek support. Make an appointment with your EAP or HR department. Ask their advice and request action to be taken.
- Build a support network. Seek out colleagues who will support you and your fight against the bully. Their moral support will be invaluable.
- Approach the bully to discuss the issues. This won’t be easy so make sure you have a support person with you.
- Self-care. Take time out to focus on your mental health. Get good sleep, eat well and support your emotional wellbeing with counselling or meditation.
Protect yourself against bullies
Prevent workplace bullying by telling someone what’s going on, keeping a detailed diary of events and getting support from colleagues and HR. Don’t make yourself miserable by putting up with bullies. You can take control of the situation and make your work environment enjoyable again.