Bullying in the Workplace- What Can You Do About It?

by on January 25th, 2011
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Bullying has become a social problem. Many adults are quick to condemn such acts of violence in the education system, yet at their secular jobs may engage in the same type of behavior. Yes, bullying can take place within the work environment. It can take many forms such as: excessive scrutinizing of an individuals work, spreading gossip or slander, assigning undue blame, yelling, cursing, demeaning language, humiliation, and the withholding of pertinent information needed to do a job well. Yes, bullying can take many forms. It also leads to high employee turnover, absentiism, and a hostile work environment.

Have you ever suffered from ill treatment from another co-worker? Have you been held accountable for things that everyone else is allowed to get away with? Have you ever been set up and fired from your job? Do other employees belittle you? Are you regulary assigned to work a hard assignment no one else will take? If your answer was affirmative to any of the previous questions, then you are being bullied at your job. What can help you cope with such a situation?

1)Recognize that the bully is insecure. People who engage in acts of bullying are insecure people. They usually have a host of problems. They hate themselves and therefore need to put someone else down to make themselves feel good. If their behavior consists of no more than a minor irritation, it would be best to simply ignore them. They will eventually hang themselves.

2) Get eyewitness testimony and documentation. Have any co-workers who have witnessed the abuse to write a detailed statement of the account. Make sure you have documented the date and time of each occurence. It is important to note that your behavior must be above reproach. You can not provoke someone and then claim harrassment if they respond in kind.

3) Go to your supervisor. With photocopies of your eyewitness documentation, go to your supervisor. Tell him or her you are a victim of bullying. Tell them you want it to stop. Inquire about your options. More than likely, your supervisor has to talk to the other party and get their side of the story. Document the conversation with your supervisor. Be very detailed include the date and time.

4) If the abuse continues, proceed to human resources. File a grievance against the bully. Educate yourself on each step you should take in order to remedy the situation. Hopefully, by now, the bullying has stopped.

5) Do not quit your job. You should hold on to your job. You are not the one with the problem. Unfortunately, if you quit, you many face another bully on the next job. It is best to face problem head on and not run. Keep in mind that most people who engage in this type of behavior will be eventually fired.

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