Every workplace has its share of bullies, but some workplaces are just a little more hostile than others. If your boss or coworkers seem unusually intimidating, threatening, or intimidating, you might be experiencing workplace intimidation.
In this post, we’ll discuss how workplace intimidation occurs, how it differs from other forms of harassment, and how to deal with it.
What Is A Workplace Intimidation?
Intimidation in the workplace is the deliberate and malicious act of influencing an employee or coworker to feel inferior or fearful. This includes verbal threats, unfair critiques, labor or supply sabotage, sexual harassment, and physical assault.
This undermines the confidence of employees and hinders their capacity to do their tasks. In some jurisdictions, it is punished by fines and jail, and businesses may be held accountable if they fail to respond effectively.
Those who believe they are being subjected to intimidation at work can seek assistance from management and police authorities.
What are the Types of Workplace Intimidation?
Every instance of unlawful workplace harassment is discriminatory. In contrast to verbal and physical harassment, however, discriminatory harassment is defined by its aim rather than its method of execution.
How are your current employees reporting harassment? If you do not already have an employee complaint form, you must create one.
In this instance, the bully harasses the victim in part because they belong to a protected class.
The most prevalent and well-known kinds of discriminatory harassment are detailed in further detail below.
A victim may be subjected to racial harassment based on their race, skin color, ancestry, place of origin, or citizenship.
Even perceived characteristics of a certain ethnicity (curly hair, dialects, habits, beliefs, or dress) may be a factor. Typical examples of racial harassment are:
- Racial insults
- Racial slurs
- Racial jokes
- Derogatory remarks
- Disdain for intolerance of diversity
Gender-based harassment refers to discriminatory behavior based on a person’s gender.
Frequently, the source of harassment is negative gender preconceptions regarding how men and women should or do act. Some examples are:
- A male nurse is subject to harassment due to the perception that his occupation is a woman’s.
- A female banker encounters the glass ceiling and is ridiculed for lacking “leader potential.”
- A male coworker exhibits nasty stuff (comics, posters) about women.
Religious harassment is frequently intertwined with racial harassment, but it targets the victim’s religious views.
A person with a faith that differs from the “norm” of the firm may encounter harassment or intolerance in the workplace in a number of ways.
- Discrimination against religious festivals
- Regarding religious traditions, intolerance
- Lack of respect for religious practices.
- Cruel religious jokes
- Offensive generalizations
- Pressures to convert religions
Disability-based harassment is a form of workplace harassment directed at employees who:
- Individually suffer from a disability
- Are familiar with a handicapped person or persons
- Utilize disability assistance (sick leave or workers’ compensation).
A person with a handicap may endure harassment in the form of hurtful taunts, condescending remarks, refusals to make reasonable accommodations, or social isolation.
Sexual Orientation-Based Harassment
Sexual orientation-based harassment is gaining acceptance as a valid form of workplace harassment. Victims are subject to harassment because their sexual orientation differs from that of people around them.
Depending on their field of employment, individuals of any sexual orientation (heterosexual, gay, bisexual, asexual, etc.) may be subjected to this type of harassment.
For instance, a homosexual guy may experience harassment on a construction site, but a straight man may experience ridicule in a salon.
In an effort to promote the employment of older persons and eliminate age-based harassment, the Civil Rights Act of 1964 provides special protections for workers over 40.
A victim of age-based discrimination might be:
- Irritated and slandered,
- Left out of events or gatherings, or unfairly chastised…
Because solely to their age and the associated preconceptions Unfortunately, this harassment is often a misguided attempt to coerce the victim into retiring early.
2. Personal Harassment
Personal harassment is a non-protected class kind of workplace harassment (such as race, gender or religion).
Simply, it is bullying in its most fundamental form, and while it is not criminal, it may still be harmful.
Examples of Personal Harassment
Personal harassment consists of:
- Inappropriate comments
- Offensive jokes
- Individual disgrace
- Remarks of concern
- Ostracizing behaviors
- Coercive strategies
Or any other conduct that creates a hostile work environment for the victim.
3. Physical Harassment
Physical harassment, commonly referred to as workplace violence, is a kind of workplace harassment characterized by physical assaults or threats. In severe situations, physical harassment may constitute an assault.
Physical gestures such as fun pushing can blur the boundary between suitable and inappropriate, since it is up to the recipient to choose whether or not the conduct makes them feel uncomfortable.
Physical harassment in the workplace should be regarded extremely seriously and extensively defined in codes of conduct and rules in order to more clearly define this border.
Examples of Physical Harassment
Typical actions include:
- Direct menaces with the purpose to do damage
- Physical assaults (hitting, shoving, kicking)
- Threatening actions (shaking fists angrily)
- Destruction of property for the purpose of intimidation
Industries at Risk
Certain sectors expose their employees to a greater risk of workplace violence. These include healthcare personnel, law enforcement officials, employees of social service agencies, teachers and educators, retail employees, and drivers for public transportation.
4. Power Harassment
A typical kind of workplace harassment, power harassment is characterized by a power discrepancy between the harasser and the harassed.
The harasser uses their position of authority to abuse a victim who is lower on the workplace hierarchy.
In many instances, the harasser is a superior or management who targets subordinates.
Examples of Power Harassment
Harassment based on a person’s position of authority is not restricted to a particular form of conduct. It might take the shape of intimidation or acts of violence.
Usually, the cause is psychological. The harasser will subject the target to:
- Impossible to satisfy excessive demands
- Irrespective of the worker’s capacity, demeaning demands are imposed.
- Personal intrusion into the employee’s life
5. Psychological Harassment
Psychological harassment is detrimental to an individual’s psychological health.
On a personal, professional, or both level, victims of psychological harassment frequently experience feelings of humiliation and denigration.
Damage to a victim’s psychological well-being frequently has repercussions on their physical health, social life, and professional life.
Examples of Psychological Harassment
Psychological harassment in the workplace may seem as follows:
- Isolating the victim or denying their presence
- Minimizing or trivializing the victim’s feelings.
- Discrediting the victim or spreading rumours
- Contrary to or contesting every word the victim says
Employers are adopting new technologies to attract younger workers and reap the benefits of a digitally interconnected environment.
Instant messaging systems like as Slack and Workplace by Facebook, for instance, offer simplicity, speed, and an intuitive UI.
Nonetheless, there are disadvantages to this digital world.
Examples of Online Harassment
Employers are extremely concerned about cyberbullying and internet abuse. Online bullies may, among many, many other things:
- Share embarrassing details about the victim via bulk email or chat
- Social media accounts should be used to spread false information or rumors about the victim.
- Send threatening instant messages or SMS messages to the target directly.
Cyberbullying is currently not clearly covered under federal law (particularly for adults).
However, the Department of Justice has indicated that legal action is feasible if the internet misconduct is prosecuted under another statute.
Retribution harassment is a subtle kind of retaliation that is sometimes missed as a form of workplace harassment.
Retaliation harassment happens when a person harasses another person in order to exact retribution and deter the victim from repeating the same behavior.
What Does Retaliation Harassment Look Like?
Typically, this form of harassment consists of three elements:
- Employee A lodges a formal complaint against Employee B.
- Employee B learns about the complaint and its source.
- Employee B harasses Employee A in order to exact retribution and dissuade the latter from submitting more complaints.
As revenge, Employee B would harass Employee A in this instance.
8. Sexual Harassment
Sexual harassment is simply harassment that is of a sexual character and typically includes unwelcome sexual approaches, actions, or behaviour.
Sexual harassment in the workplace is considered a form of illegal discrimination by the courts.
Other forms of harassment may take time and escalating intensity to create a hostile workplace for the victim, but sexual harassment often causes discomfort and has an instant detrimental impact on the victim’s life.
Examples of Sexual Harassment:
- Sharing voyeuristic images (pornography)
- Posting sexual posters
- Sexual remarks, jokes, queries
- Unsuitable sexual contact Unsuitable sexual behavior
- Sexually invading one’s personal space
How Big is the Sexual Harassment Problem?
Since many years, rumors have circulated that sexual harassment is widespread in the restaurant sector.
More lately, there has been a consistent flow of sexual harassment accusations emanating from Hollywood, giving rise to the #MeToo movement, which spotlights the frequency of this conduct.
In the video below, Virginia MacSuibhne discusses how current stories of sexual harassment are truly about power and not sex.
MacSuibhne also describes frequent replies from males to the #MeToo and #TimesUp movements, calling attention to the amount of misinformation about sexual harassment in the workplace.
Considering the frequency of these instances, this lack of knowledge is inexcusable. A recent EEOC research found that anywhere between 25 and 85% of women had experienced sexual harassment on the job.
Even at the lowest rate, 25%, this corresponds to one in four women suffering sexual harassment on the job.
9. Quid Pro Quo Sexual Harassment
This is a form of exchange-based sexual harassment known as “quid pro quo”
If an employee is promised employment advantages on the condition that they engage in sexual behaviour, this is commonly referred to as quid pro quo sexual harassment.
The harasser, who is typically a manager or senior-level employee, may offer anything of value in exchange for sexual favors. It can also serve as a means of blackmail.
Examples of Quid Pro Quo Sexual Harassment
The victim may:
- Acquire a job offer
- Acquire a promotion.
- Receive a raise
- Receive opportunities
- Avoid a downgrade
- Evade dismissal
Quid pro quo Sexual harassment may be both overt and covert. The harasser may ask for the trade directly or imply it (e.g., “Don’t you want this job?”).
10. Third Party Harassment
Third-party harassment is a form of workplace harassment conducted by an outside party.
Instead of a boss, supervisor, or coworker, the culprit is a vendor, supplier, customer, or client of the business.
Who is the Victim of Third Party Harassment?
Frequently, the victims are young adults with “low-status” or “low-power” occupations (think: cashier or sales associate). Their position in the firm, lack of expertise, and unwillingness to generate a commotion make them excellent victims.
Employer Liability for Third Party Harassers
Because third-party harassment does not match the traditional narrative, it is underrecognized and frequently ignored. Employers have the same obligation to halt harassing behavior regardless of the harasser’s identity.
11. Verbal Harassment
Verbal harassment may be the outcome of personality issues in the workplace that have progressed beyond the level of a casual eye roll, or of something more severe.
Verbal abuse is often not prohibited, unlike discriminating forms of harassment (such as sexual). Instead, verbal harassment may involve a person who is habitually hostile or disagreeable.
Because it remains unreported and unaddressed, much verbal abuse may be very devastating.
Examples of Verbal Harassment
The most obvious forms of verbal harassment include threatening, shouting, insulting, or cussing a victim in public or private.
It is prohibited if this conduct targets a member of a protected class.
Negative Effects of Verbal Abuse
Dr. Gary Namie, a specialist on workplace bullying, discovered trends in the detrimental impacts of verbal abuse in the workplace. According to him, emotions of shame and remorse, passionlessness, and even elevated blood pressure are prevalent.
Businesses can be held liable if they fail to respond correctly to accusations of harassment or intimidation, therefore it is crucial that they have internal protocols in place and that their staff are aware of them.
In many jurisdictions, corporations are required by law to take particular actions in response to any allegation of workplace intimidation, regardless of its veracity.
Typically, this entails maintaining specific forms of paperwork and submitting accusations to government anti-discrimination organizations. Anti-harassment and anti-discrimination groups frequently offer training and workshops to assist employers prepare for accusations.
Those who think they have been harassed or intimidated at work have many options. Generally, it is better to approach the bully the first time the conduct occurs and inform him or her that his or her behaviors are objectionable and will be reported to human resources if they continue.
Workers should maintain complete records of all instances and seek for witnesses to bolster their claims. If the individual is too terrified to address the bully directly, he or she can speak with human resources or a management. The majority of businesses have internal protocols to follow in such circumstances.
If the situation has not been rectified and there is a continuing pattern of intimidation, an employee may be able to argue that the workplace is hostile and seek legal compensation.
Who gets bullied and who does the bullying?
Anyone may engage in bullying. According to studies conducted in 2017 by the Workplace Bullying Institute:
- Approximately 70% of bullies are male, whereas 30% are female.
- Both male and female bullies attack women more frequently.
- Sixty-one percent of bullying is perpetrated by supervisors or managers.
- 33 percent is derived from coworkers. The remaining 6 percent happens when lower-level employees intimidate their superiors or those in higher positions.
- More often, protected groups are victimized by bullying. Only 19% of victims of bullying were Caucasian.
Bullying by supervisors may include unjustified poor performance reports, screaming, threats of termination or demotion, or denial of time off or departmental transfer.
People at the same level frequently engage in workplace bullying through rumor, sabotage, or criticism. Bullying can occur not just between coworkers who work closely together, but also between departments.
People who work in separate departments may be more inclined to engage in bullying via email or rumor dissemination.
The subordinates are permitted to bully the superiors. As an example, a person might:
- Continue to exhibit disdain for their manager
- Resist completing assignments
- Circulated gossip concerning the management
- Do things that make their management appear inept
Bullying may occur more frequently in workplaces that exhibit the following:
- Are unpleasant or constantly changing
- Have heavy workloads
- Having vague policies regarding employee conduct
- Have poor employee relationships and communication
- Increase the number of employees who are bored or concerned about job security
Expert Tips to Stop Harassment
Now that we are aware of the sorts of harassment that afflict the workplace, the next step is to eliminate it.
The following are three options.
1. Implement, Update, Revive Your Policy
Do whatever verb applies to your policy scenario.
Create a policy if you don’t already have one.
If you already have one, but no one cares or is aware of its existence, you should dust it up and enforce it.
If a policy exists, is correct, and is enforced, workers will have no incentive not to adhere to it. But as long as there is no standard for acceptable behavior, you are inviting anarchy.
2. Train Your Staff
Train your staff to identify and report harassment.
3. Implement, Update, Revive Your Internal Complaint System
Training and policy can only accomplish so much.
An internal complaint mechanism (such as i-Ethics Sight’s Hotline) may help employees feel secure and supported by supplementing policy and stepping in when policy is insufficient.
Unless you establish a formal complaint procedure that respects the victim’s right to confidentiality and protection from reprisal, it is unlikely that they will come forward.
Victims will dread the possibility of retaliation, and the absence of assistance might be worse than the harassment they are already experiencing.
Employer Liability for Harassment
The employer is automatically accountable for supervisor harassment that leads to adverse employment action, such as termination, failure to promote or hire, or salary loss. If the supervisor’s harassment results in a hostile work environment, the employer can avoid liability only if it can demonstrate that:
1) it made reasonable efforts to prevent and promptly correct the harassing conduct
2) the employee failed to take advantage of any preventive or corrective opportunities provided by the employer.
The employer is responsible for harassment committed by non-supervisory workers or non-employees over whom it has control (e.g., independent contractors or customers on the premises) if it knew or should have known about the harassment and failed to take immediate and effective remedial action.
When reviewing complaints of workplace harassment, the EEOC examines the complete file, including the nature of the alleged conduct and the surrounding circumstances. Case-by-case determinations are made as to whether harassment is severe or widespread enough to be criminal.
If you suspect the harassment you are experiencing or observing is of a sexual nature, you may wish to review the EEOC’s material on sexual harassment.
How to report workplace harassment
The purpose of human resources departments is to assist employees, particularly those in dire situations when they feel uneasy or in danger. A victim should not be discouraged from making a complaint due to a lack of tangible proof. In fact, the majority of complaints and concerns lack concrete proof.
Why reporting workplace harassment is important
Mooney emphasized the necessity of reporting any sort of workplace harassment, since others may have already reported similar acts committed by the same individual (or group of people).
And if no one has yet brought it to HR’s attention, it is even more crucial to do so. You never know how many people may have been affected by the culprit, regardless of whether they reported it or not.
Numerous businesses have formal reporting procedures for workplace harassment. Check your employee handbook or, if you are determined to reporting, ask your human resources department how to proceed.
How to report workplace harassment
If your workplace does not have a formal reporting procedure, you can take the following measures in a peaceful situation:
- If the harassment does not entail physical assault, you should attempt to discuss the problem directly with the harasser. Explain why you believe you are being harassed in a private setting. Keeping oneself safe should be your main concern if the scenario is too risky to proceed.
- Consider reporting the situation to your immediate management, unless your manager is the offender. If your attempts to settle the situation with the harasser fail, bring it to the notice of HR. Provide documentation, such as screenshots, messages, emails, and eyewitness reports, if possible. If your organization employs HR software, register complaints via the relevant portal to verify that everything is documented.
- If you believe that your managers, HR, and corporate management did not handle your matter adequately, contact the EEOC, which may evaluate the event objectively. Some big cities and metropolitan regions, such as New York City, have their own rules and authorities governing workplace behaviour; in such cases, a victim may file a claim with that city.
Why Workplace Bullies Get Away With It
Bullies are frequently excellent achievers. They may be a top salesperson who closes multimillion-dollar transactions, a bright engineer who is always coming up with efficient solutions, or a marketing who doubled a website’s traffic. Whatever it is, they add value to the organization, therefore there is an incentive for the corporation to retain them (and happy).
Some bullies also attempt to curry favor with their bosses (and sometimes their peers) while abusing one or more of the people they supervise or work with.
As a result, instead of being held accountable for their bullying conduct, they may be rewarded with praise, increases, or promotions, and you may be even more terrified by the possibility of casting a shade on such a shining light.
Bullies get away with their actions mostly because of the company’s culture. No it doesn’t.
“What truly explains it is the work environment that created the opportunity,” says Namie, referring to the one that enabled these individuals to get employed in the first place and then bully with impunity. “Bullying would not occur if the workplace climate did not give the go-ahead for unrestrained maltreatment.”
What to avoid when facing workplace harassment
Chancey suggests avoiding a few habits while dealing with workplace harassment. These errors may exacerbate the problem or put you in a perilous position.
Do not retaliate
Retaliation can aggravate the situation and frequently complicates problems. Instead, raise the matter and let your HR staff to address the situation.
Do not complain to co-workers
If your coworkers are summoned to testify, they will likely tone down your account of the events since they lack significant influence.
Additionally, it is crucial to understand that the connections amongst your coworkers vary. You never know how that individual feels about the perpetrator, and by speaking critically about them, you may muddy the waters (even if it is warranted).
Do not keep quiet
Always report any type of harassment, and it should be dealt with appropriately. Remaining silent will not make the offender’s conduct disappear. All harassment instances must be reported, and all complaints must be examined properly.
Workplace harassment laws
Although good policies begin with the actions of business owners, federal and state legislation exist to protect employees against workplace harassment.
The federal government’s obligation that all firms give equal employment opportunities to all Americans is a well-known example. This is often presented in a “equal opportunity employer” section at the conclusion of job listings and applications.
The following are other workplace harassment laws:
- The Equal Pay Act of 1963 prohibits firms from paying men and women different compensation for performing equivalent work in the same workplace.
- Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act prohibits discrimination based on race, color, religion, national origin, and sex. In addition, it protects victims and anyone who report these offenses in or outside of the workplace.
- The Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 prohibits age-based discrimination against persons over 40 years old in the workplace.
While these are the most notable instances of discrimination legislation, safe working environments are the consequence of well-planned and consistently implemented workplace regulations.
Whether you own or work for a small business, do your best to help cultivate and develop a positive policy and safeguard your employees and coworkers. It will shield your firm from potential liabilities and provide a safe, inclusive atmosphere, therefore boosting staff morale and enhancing employee retention.
Not only should you be aware of these regulations, but so should your staff. Ensure that you produce a handbook for employees so that each new recruit is aware of your company’s policies against workplace harassment.
7 Ways to Deal With Your Workplace Bully
It might be daunting to determine how to cope with bullying. Therefore, we consulted specialists to determine what you may do to assist yourself.
1. Speak Up Early On
Before you become the long-term target of a workplace bully, you have an opportunity to put an end to the situation quickly. “One of the nicest things you can do for yourself is to speak out immediately when someone mistreats you, since everyone wants the road of least resistance, correct?” Zundel says. She gives a few alternatives:
- Call attention to their values: Try “I know that you really care about everyone feeling valued, and when you do X, it undermines that intention. Maybe we could try Y in the future?”
- Explain why it’s a problem: Try “I notice you X, and when you do that it makes it hard for us to foster a team environment.”
- Say their name a lot: Try “Jim, I hear what you are saying, but Jim, I need you to stop doing X. I treat you with respect, Jim, and I need you to do the same.”
Also, consider your body language. “Stand tall, with your arms at your sides and your nose up,” Zundel stresses. If you are anxious about getting up, your arms will be folded, your shoulders will be bowed, and your gaze will be directed downward.
If you disregard bullying and allow it to continue in its early phases, it will only become worse. “Oftentimes, individuals let it go and let it go and let it go,” adds Zundel. And it may be too late by the time they understand they are being bullied. Once a power imbalance has been entrenched, it can be nearly hard for the target to redress the situation.
In other words, if you finally find the strength to speak up after months of being tormented, it is not only improbable that the bullying would cease, but it may even escalate. Therefore, if you’ve progressed this far along the route, you may be better off pursuing a different strategy.
2. Document the Abuse and Your Performance
If it took you a while to comprehend the gravity of what was happening to you and you believe you’ve lost the opportunity to act swiftly, begin recording.
“Keep a record of the who, what, when, where, and why of events,” advises Zundel. “If you are at a staff meeting when bullying happens, you should return to your desk and write down who else was in the meeting, what was said, why it was said, and as much detail as you can about the event.”
If you subsequently decide to report the bully, you’ll need to be able to provide specific examples of the actions you’re describing.
In addition, begin saving any emails or other proof that supports your account. For instance, if your employer is criticizing your performance, you should gather evidence that proves the measurable results of the projects you’re working on as well as any laudatory communications from other stakeholders.
3. Take Care of Yourself Outside of Work
In addition, begin saving any emails or other proof that supports your account. For instance, if your employer is criticizing your performance, you should gather evidence that proves the measurable results of the projects you’re working on as well as any laudatory communications from other stakeholders.
Workplace and outside-of-work bullying may wreak havoc on your life. However, attempting to balance the negative impacts with good ones might be beneficial.
V”If possible, participate in extracurricular activities that make you feel good about yourself,” adds Zundel. “Join a softball team or practice yoga, or any of those activities that bring you joy.” Spend time with your friends and family and rely on them for support, but keep in mind that excessively ranting about your job troubles might damage your relationships.
4. Do Your Research
“If possible, participate in extracurricular activities that make you feel good about yourself,” adds Zundel. “Join a softball team or practice yoga, or any of those activities that bring you joy.” Spend time with your friends and family and rely on them for support, but keep in mind that excessively ranting about your job troubles might damage your relationships.
Does your organization have a policy against bullying, maltreatment, verbal abuse, or something similar? Since bullying is not prohibited, many firms lack a specific anti-bullying policy.
However, it is worthwhile to review the employee handbook or any other document that outlines the organization’s principles and expectations. If you decide to file a complaint, having access to this language will further enhance your position.
Consider obtaining legal counsel to see if your situation qualifies as harassment or offers any other legal remedy.
Others may charge an hourly rate ranging from $75 to hundreds of dollars.
5. Talk to Your Manager (or Someone Else, if Your Boss Is the Bully)
If you’ve attempted to deal with the matter without success, Zundel suggests approaching your boss (provided they are not the bully).
“You may explain, ‘This is what’s occurring. “She suggests saying, ‘I’ve tried these three things, but none of them worked, and that’s why I’m in your office,'” which is equivalent to saying, “I’ve tried these three things, but none of them worked, and “This is a far superior statement than ‘This individual is bullying me. Can you provide assistance?
Consider whether you trust one of your boss’s peers or someone above them enough to seek their counsel if they are the source of the issue. The trick is to examine your particular circumstance and gauge the relationships inside your organization.
It would likely be unwise, for instance, to approach the person who recruited your bully or who previously worked with them at a prior job. And you would never approach their work best friend or a relative (in the case of a family company). Because if you do and the information comes back to the bully, it might worsen the situation.
6. Talk to HR or Someone in Power
Eventually, other workers who witness the abuse may suffer low morale. A toxic culture can become pervasive in the workplace. Good employees may quit their jobs to try to protect their careers and reputations, which can harm the organization over the long-term.
Several things should be completed prior to approaching HR or a member of the executive suite.
Determine who you will communicate with first. Namie opposes bringing your issue to HR and advises locating a high-ranking individual you feel comfortable approaching with a “plan to save money” (more on that in a second).
According to Zundel, the decision of whether or not to approach HR depends on the sort of HR representative you’re working with. Consider how you can make a commercial argument rather than a personal one, regardless of whoever you decide to contact.
Namie suggests quantifying the cost of the bully to the organization in terms of employee turnover, absenteeism, lost productivity, and more (he even provides detailed instructions). Your documentation might also be useful at this stage, since you will be able to reference specific instances of wasted time and wasted resources.
Finally, consider what it is that you desire. “Do you merely want them to know or do you need their assistance? Do you wish for this individual to be transferred? What do you need from HR?” asks Zundel, whose book Back Off! includes a worksheet to help you prepare. The Ultimate Guide to Ending Workplace Bullying.
“And if you don’t find what you’re looking for, what will you do?” If your response is that you will leave, that is OK. Ultimately, she asserts, “your dignity, self-respect, and mental health are far more essential than your money.”
7. Look for a New Job
The truth is that the majority of bullying instances (77 percent, according to a WBI poll) result in the target quitting their work, whether they left or were fired (sometimes because, like Laine, their performance suffered so much under the stress of long-term abuse).
Therefore, it is in your best advantage to begin job hunting as soon as possible, especially if your employer does not have a policy or culture that you can rely on to combat bullying fast and effectively.
Even if you seek some of your other choices before deciding to quit, such as dealing with HR, it might be advantageous to have a job offer or at least a backup plan in place.
What to Do if You See Someone Else Being Bullied
You need neither be the bully or the victim to be involved in bullying. “If you witness it, you know it’s occurring, and you do nothing, you are giving this individual license to act in this manner,” adds Zundel.
If you feel confident speaking out in the moment, you should do so. Simple phrases such as “Hey, what’s going on?” are recommended by Zundel. Let’s not communicate in this manner.”
Consequences of workplace bullying and intimidation
Bullying and intimidation in the workplace can have devastating effects on the victims. Numerous victims describe experiencing significant stress accompanied by medical symptoms such as stomach issues, sleeplessness, and high blood pressure.
The victims may also experience poor self-esteem, anxiety, and sadness. Bullies in the workplace may spread malicious rumors about their victims to destroy their reputations. This can have a detrimental effect on the victim’s productivity and the morale of coworkers who observe the behavior.
As the victim’s productivity decreases due to continued bullying, the victim risks losing his or her job. This can be disastrous for the victim, who may have difficulty obtaining a new job if he or she cannot obtain a good recommendation from previous coworkers or employers.
Eventually, the morale of other employees who see the abuse may decline. A bad working culture may become prevalent. Good personnel may leave their employment to safeguard their careers and reputations, causing long-term damage to the firm.
Workplace intimidation is a very dangerous thing. It has the potential to destroy not just a person, but a team as well.
One of the most common ways of workplace intimidation is through gossip and rumor. This is usually done by people who do not have much work experience and who can’t do their jobs.
In this case, they are afraid they are going to be replaced if they make a mistake. They don’t want to make mistakes because they won’t get a second chance.
All three can be dangerous for your workplace and you need to do something about it.
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