Office bullying is one of the worst types of bullying. This is because it can affect your career in the future. There are various types of office bullying. It can be done through communication, non verbally, verbally, psychologically among others. Studies have shown that almost 60% of workplace bullies are bosses. So how do you deal with workplace bullying? With the pandemic, working remotely has taken over.
And yes, even working remotely can still result in office bullying. Here are some examples of workplace bullying; threatening messages, taking credit for someone’s work, constantly criticizing you in front of others, micromanaging, manipulating information, or withholding it entirely so you fail to get the job done. Office bullying can take so many forms and it can affect your productivity and overall mental health.
Knowing the difference between being bullied and being told about how you can improve are two very different things. If you’re constantly being told how you can improve that’s not bullying but constructive criticism.
Here are some ways you can deal with office bullying;
1. Speak Up Earlier
It’s always best to speak up as soon as the bullying starts. Don’t wait for a long period of time to speak up about you being bullied. The minute you ignore the bullying process in the early stages it’s only bound to get worse. Don’t be the person that lets it go. Have a one-on-one with the person bullying you and be polite about how their behavior makes you feel and that you’d appreciate it if they stopped. Don’t mince your words and don’t act timid either. Be confident about your conversation. If they don’t back down then you can take action against them.
2. Document it
It’s important to document all your interactions with the bully as soon as you realize what’s happening. Keep a record of your interactions, when they happen, how they happen, and how they do it. If there were other people present when you were being bullied it would be helpful to write that down as well. Keeping such a log is important so you can actually confirm that it is in fact bullying and you can have evidence in the event you want to go forward to management.
3. Check the Company’s Policy
Most corporations don’t entertain or encourage bullying. Check and research the company’s policies for any clause on how to handle bullying in the office. In recent years companies have included a no-tolerance policy for bullying, how to report bullying. If there’s no such clause you can ask around the company and find out about how bullying is dealt with in your organization.
4. Go To Management
After making attempts to talk to your bully, the next step should be to go to management. Approach your boss and tell them that you’ve tried talking to them but your efforts have proved to be futile. Additionally, say that it’s affecting your mental health and overall productivity in the office. However, if your boss is your bully, you might want to approach HR. If you’re going to HR make sure you have documentation in your favor because they will not take such an accusation lightly. Make a case against your boss before approaching the human resources department.
5. Self Care
Bullying can take a toll on your mental and psychological health. Take care of yourself outside of work. Do things that make you feel good about yourself and make you happy. Surround yourself with a great support system to help you cope with what you’re going through at work. If the effects of bullying are taking an extreme toll on you, then you should seek professional help from a therapist.
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6. Get a New Job
If you realize that your company doesn’t have strict policies on office bullying or you start to get victimized at work because you reported it. You might want to start looking for a new job. Unfortunately, in most cases, bullies are usually high performers making it easier for them to get away with it. They will get a warning email and that’s as far as action against them will go. If this is your case, you might want to start looking for another job. At the end of the day, your mental wellbeing should come first.
7. Consult with an attorney
If leaving your job currently is not an option and you want to take further action especially if there was a serious violation like sexual harassment, consult with an attorney. This should be a matter of last resort because of how much time, resources, and money are required. Choose this option if the violation extremely affected you emotionally and mentally.