HR – Bullying in the Work Place

Most people assume that bullying is something that only happens within the school playground and stops there, sadly this is not the case and bullying can happen to anyone regardless of your level within an organisation. It is in everyone’s interest to eliminate unwanted, offensive or discriminatory behaviour from a work place, enabling individuals to enjoy work satisfaction and organisations to flourish.

Bullying can range from arguments to rudeness, or it may be more subtle and not as obvious to the employer. Excluding and ignoring people and their contribution, or unacceptable criticisms, and overloading people with work are other forms of bullying.

Bullying and harassment will make someone feel anxious and humiliated. This could also trigger feelings of anger and frustration at being unable to cope with the situation. Other people may retaliate in some way and others may become frightened and demotivated. Stress, loss of self-confidence and self-esteem caused by harassment or bullying may lead to job insecurity, illness, absence from work, and even resignation.  Job performance is always affected and relations in the workplace suffer.

Not every employee is comfortable with approaching management with regards to a complaint about bullying and some may feel it is the management that is doing the bullying. Some employers have specially trained staff to help with bullying and harassment issues. There may be trained mediators within your organisation

Many issues can be resolved informally. This may involve yourself, accompanied by a colleague or manager, approaching the person whom you believe is treating your unfairly or inappropriately. This would allow you the chance to describe the unacceptable behaviour and explain how it makes you feel and how you would like it to change. It may be that the person whom you feel is bullying does not realise their behaviour is upsetting, so they need to be given the chance to modify their actions.

For more advice on the topic of bullying, or if professional help is needed to resolve a situation please call us on 0845 224 7013 or email:

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