Workplace Bullying: Here’s What You Can Do Now To Stop It

Get to steppin’ if you experience workplace bullying at your job. Clear your desk immediately or turn in your uniform and don’t let the door hit your booty on the way out. That’s what you should do if the job is causing you extreme emotional, psychological, or physical distress.

However, not everyone has the wherewithal or resources to leave right away. Here’s how to deal with workplace bullying if you need to keep the job while you seek a kinder, gentler atmosphere:

Speak To the Alleged Bully or the Supervisor

There’s a slight chance that the offender will stop the workplace bullying if you discuss it privately, and there’s a big chance they’ll turn it up. You can try your luck to keep your job, but offensive personality types usually thrive in certain workplaces. Coworkers and leadership trainees often turn a blind eye to the behavior, or worse yet, they participate in it themselves.

Your supervisor may be just as reluctant to do anything to stop the behavior. In fact, he or she may defend the other person’s actions or advise you to “pray” or develop a thicker skin. If your supervisor is the offender, you’re out of luck, my friend. You’re also beat if you’re dealing with a clique with a nasty ringleader.

Take It To Human Resources

Employers expect their workers to follow a chain of command when presenting complaints and issues. Thus, Human Resources (HR) is the next stop if you still want to keep your job.

HR is a department you can go to if you want to file a complaint and launch an investigation about workplace bullying. They’re available if you can’t resolve an issue with your coworkers and immediate supervisors. You can request a meeting by visiting their office or calling the dedicated number they should have given you during your employee orientation.

HR may assist you if you have solid evidence and documentation of the abuse. Unfortunately, emotional abuse and hostile work environment situations are hard to prove without witnesses willing to help you, recordings, videos, etc. That’s why so many manipulative and unkind personalities use those tactics.

Furthermore, HR’s allegiance is to the business. So, you’ll have to come up with a report with something more than “he said” or “she said” to get help. Many loopholes exist in the employee relations realm, so it’s always a dice roll when you go to the higher-ups.

Call the Ethics Hotline

Many businesses also have an “ethics” department workers can contact to report unethical practices. The hotline is more suitable for incidents such as stealing, time theft, and insider trading, but you might be able to get them to help you with your stolen self-confidence. Abuse is unethical.

Get To Steppin’ and Tell ‘Em Toodles

woman quitting job after workplace bullying

No job is worth your peace, sanity, or physical health. Therefore, you should consider leaving if you can’t find a remedy for workplace bullying. Many workplaces allow bad behavior, and some even encourage it. It’s not likely that a rotten culture will change. You can start anew if you haven’t been there long, and you can recover fairly quickly. Hopefully, your next job will be warmer.

  • 35 percent of workers have experienced workplace bullying from coworkers or members of management.
  • Female bullies target other females 80 percent of the time. There’s definitely no girl code there.
  • One in five workers quit their jobs to escape bullying.
  • Adult workplace bullying is more prevalent than high school bullying.

That says a lot about humanity’s evolution. What’s your take on workplace bullying? Have you ever been a target in the workplace? What is the most common workplace harassment? Leave a comment to start a discussion.

10 thoughts on “Workplace Bullying: Here’s What You Can Do Now To Stop It

  1. This is such a tough dilemma. Many people experiencing workplace bullying don’t immediately have other options for work. If they resign, it would involve a period of unemployment while they search for other work, that can be very scary for people, and so they stay where they are. But nobody should have to subject themselves to any kind of abuse. Documenting every incident of bullying is crucial to open an HR case, so if a person does decide to stay, they need to provide as much evidence as they can collect. It’s so unfortunate that the responsibility falls on the victim to prove the bullying is happening to them. It’s a terrible system.

  2. “usually, offensive personality types thrive in certain workplaces” …whew, if that’s not true then I don’t know what is! It’s mind blowing how certain personality types will only work in certain fields/ at certain jobs so that they can (continue to) behave in hostile ways. Hopefully workplace bullying starts to be taken more seriously, especially if 1 in 5 workers quit to avoid it!

  3. I didn’t even know a department existed to combat bullying. I hope to see emotional abuse get more serious attention soon, because it’s eating the people and causing them severe dilemma.

    1. HR isn’t a department that combats bullying, per se. They just try to settle squabbles between employees and their coworkers/managers/the company before they turn into huge problems for the business.

      As of now, employers still have little education on emotional abuse, and they don’t mention it as a “serious issue” like they do with stuff like sexual harassment. It’s just as damaging, but it’s not written into their policies or presented in the orientation videos as offensive behavior. Thus, the dilemma will probably continue for a very long time.

  4. I agree that the HR department should shield and help employees against this rotten culture of bullying.Some times even supervisors are bully’s.With the advancements in technology companies and individuals can use this to weed out bully’s out of the organization.I agree with this article that you should consider leaving if its affects your emotional state.Thanks for this article its very informative.

    1. They have to WANT to weed bullies out for it to work. It won’t work in places where the culture accepts and rewards those types.

      Yes, some supervisors are bullies, and some people’s careers are dead in the water before they even start. Such is life in the employment realm.

  5. I feel like this happens at more jobs than people think and it is just either ignored or not handled well. Workplace bullying hurts human resources and the business as well. This is a pretty interesting article, thank you.

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