Workplace Bullying Creates an Unsafe Work Environment
Workplace bullying exists. Just when you thought you had seen the last of bullies in school, they pop up again. But at work? Yes, it’s true. According to WorkplaceBullying.org, workplace bullying is defined as “abusive conduct by one or more perpetrators exhibiting abusive behaviors like threatening, humiliating, or intimidating/Work interference, sabotage which prevents work from getting done/verbal abuse to one or more people.” This kind of behavior can have severe repercussions such as job loss, psychological issues, wage loss, economic harm and loss of social support/integration. So how do you protect yourself from being the target of bullying or stop bullying if you are already a target?
Recognize It and Name It
As adults, we know that not every day will be a good day and not everyone will be your friend. However, the workplace should always be a cordial environment. Be aware of your surroundings. For example, if you see a co-worker (either a superior or colleague) go out of their way to exhibit unusual and harsh treatment to another in the workplace, take action. This time it may not be directed to you, but it very well could be the next time.
Know Your Rights
Realize you are an employee with rights. Law mandates your employer to provide you with a safe work environment. You should not be subjected to any verbal, physical, or mental abuse. There are laws that protect you if you come forward as a victim of workplace or employer abuse. Take the time to get informed of your rights and demand it, if needed.
Make the Inclusion Effort
We all creatures of habit and have our own routines; however, make small changes to that routine in new people. Invite just one person to lunch. Sit at a larger table in the cafeteria so you could socialize with more of your co-workers. Drink coffee in the common areas with your cubicle/office neighbors. The more you feel included/identify with those at their job, the better the work place synergy. That synergy enables you to be more productive and lower stress levels.
Managers – Take A Stand
Managers are automatically problem solvers – from financial to interpersonal. Understand, that you will be emulated and you set the tone for your workers. Therefore, you must make it clear in both word and action that workplace bullying will not be tolerated. Further, it should be understood that there are fair consequences to those actions.
Bullying, of any sort and at any age, is never ok. Each one of us is under different pressures in our lives. The additional pressure of bullying can result in harmful effects. The workplace should never be compromised by such personal and inappropriate issues, creating financial or economic distress. Stand up to bullying; you will not stand alone.
Ashley Morales is a Marketing Intern at C2G Partners.