Summary: Bullying in the workplace often extends back into the home. Feelings of low self-worth, anxiety, and stress can often translate to displaced anger with children, spouses, and partners.
Adult bullies, like their schoolyard counterparts, tend to be insecure people with poor or non-existent social skills and little empathy. They turn this insecurity outwards, finding satisfaction in attacking and diminishing the capable people around them.
A workplace bully subjects the person to unjustified criticism. He or she may humiliate the person, especially in front of others. When the bully is in a supervisory position, he or she may ignore, overrule, isolate, or exclude the employee.
Here are a few questions to consider if you suspect you are being bullied at work:
- Do you feel set up for failure by imposed unrealistic goals or deadlines?
- Are you denied necessary information and resources?
- Do you feel you are overloaded with work?
- Does your supervisor take vital work away, replacing it with demeaning tasks?
Here are a few solutions employees can explore:
- Speak to your HR representative for guidance
- Seek the advice of a trusted mentor
- If possible, confront the bully in a professional manner, but only if your physical safety isn't threatened
- Don't allow the bully to intimidate you or make you feel bad about yourself
Here are a few suggestions employees can explore with their employers:
- Establish an employee hotline
- Instate employee advocates
- Conduct peer-to-peer reviews
- Create confidential employee satisfaction surveys
Something to Think About...
- 1 in 5 employees have experienced destructive bullying in the workplace
- 80% of bullies are bosses. A bully is equally likely to be a man or a woman
- Bullying (general harassment) is far more prevalent than sexual harassment and racial discrimination
- 53% of employees lost work time worrying about the incident or future interactions
- 28% of employees lost work time avoiding the bully
- 10% of employees decreased the amount of time they spent at work
- 12% of employees changed jobs to avoid the bully
Are you being bullied at work? Has an employee come to you about a workplace bully? Learn more about this topic via our webinar, Bullying in the Workplace.