#AntiBullyingWeek|How To Deal With The Bullies
Bullying. The word that so many face on a regular basis and much of it goes overlooked. When we think of the term our minds are drawn to the playground, yet many people today see it well past the school gates and into the work place. In fact, The Workplace Bullying Institute, estimates that up to one-third of employees may be victims of bullying at work, which stopped me dead in my tracks when reading this morning. Bullying isn’t just detrimental to those who become the victim, it compromises the entire environment that they are in. From productivity and creativity, to morale and attendance, the ripple effect of this intimidation can cause disastrous effects throughout.
"Looking at the effects of workplace bullying, nearly half (46%) of people say that it has an adverse impact on their performance at work, and the same proportion believe it has a negative effect on their mental health. More than a quarter (28%) say it has a detrimental effect on them physically, and around one in five (22%) have to take time off work as a result of being bullied." - Trade Union Congress
What are the recognisable signs of bullying?
Although there is plenty of information readily available on the topic, we do feel that there’s a general lack of awareness about bullying and what constitutes bullying in the workplace. Because of this, many can become confused about whether they are in fact being bullied which in turn can prevent them from seeking help.
Spreading rumours, speaking badly of individuals behind their back.
Isolating the target, both socially and professionally.
Causing public humiliation.
Belittling the individual.
Posting negative comments on the internet.
Sending offensive emails or threats in general.
Causing deliberate physical harm to the target or their property.
What can I do if I feel I'm the victim of bullying?
If you feel confident enough to do so, confront those who are making you feel uncomfortable. Address the situation and ask them to stop, explain how you are feeling and talk about the issues that have arisen.
Keep a diary of every incident that happens and when, keeping notes will help you to refer back when asking for help.
Talk to those around you. What support can they offer? Do they have any good advice?
Speak to your manager/peers. Plan a meeting when you feel that you are up to it, take your diary and any support with you.
If it continues, raise a complaint. To do this you must follow your employer's grievance procedure, or if one doesn't exist you can use the statutory grievance procedure.
What you NEED to remember...
We know it's easier said than done, but it's imperative to remind yourself that the situation you are in is through no fault of your own. In fact targets tend to be typically high-performing employees who go to work in order to work. No matter how old you are, being a victim of bullying is nothing to be ashamed of and when tackled head on, can be resolved with a few simple steps. Don't hide away, punish yourself and let it continue to affect your work/life balance, your employer or peer should step up to support you regardless, so the sooner you address the matter the better.
At some point in an individual's life, we could argue that we all have had (at least) the attempt of bullying thrown at us, how we react is what dictates whether it continues and what you do about it will reveal how much it escalates.
Where can I seek professional advice?
Your final thoughts?
Is bullying happening more now than ever? If so, why?
How can we prevent it from continuing?
What could we do to raise more awareness?
Have your say on these or other issues this article raises by tweeting us at @staffroomed.
No matter the situation, you deserve to feel safe. Everyone has the right to a secure and comfortable environment both at home and at school so if you feel that you are a victim of any of the above then please seek support.