What to Do to Help Stop Bullying at Work
Possible actions when bullied at work
“Not everyone has been a bully or the victim of bullies, but everyone has seen bullying, and seeing it, has responded to it by joining in or objecting, by laughing or keeping silent, by feeling disgusted or feeling interested.”
Being bullied is sometimes the most horrifying thing a person can experience. What makes it depressing is not the act itself but the regularity of the act. When you are being bullied frequently, you feel down and hopeless. As a result, you tend to lose confidence and morale. These feelings also affect your productivity and efficiency at work. You tend to lose balance and concentration, making you more vulnerable to bullying. The bullies will never stop until you lose control and give up.
When you are being bullied at work: What should you do?
These are the possible “smart” actions:
- confront the bully
- approach the bully’s immediate superior
- contact the human resources department and/or occupational health
- involve a trade union
- speak to a colleague
- stay and do nothing
- leave the job
According to the UNISON survey of police section members, there is a wide range of actions undertaken by those who successfully fought bullying. What was common to these success stories is the promptness of action, responding on the very first or on the second occasion of bullying. Survey also shows that when bullying is established and entrenched as an acceptable behavior, it would be very difficult to stop or even modify it.
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A detailed assessment on bullying
- Combating bullying when it starts
The findings of the UNISON survey seem to be quite sensible advice. However, we need to take note that when confronting the bullies, we must make sure that they are not insulted so that they will not wish to revenge. De-escalation of emotion is the principal aim of confrontation. We must always remember that consciously treating others with dignity and respect at all times is fundamentally beneficial to good relations.
- When bullying is established
When there is already established a pattern of bullying that it seemed acceptable to continue it, changing and terminating it is very difficult. Victims often report the incident through an informal complaint to their superior and they usually get nothing in return. Confidentiality practices may preclude clear and immediate responses to complainants to indicate that something is being done.
- Leaving the job
Around 25% of bullying victims eventually leave their jobs and seek work elsewhere. In terms of disruption and replacement cost, this is really a big ditch on any organization. Though of little evidence, it is believed that these people left in silence, without any formal complaint. In addition, over 20% of direct witnesses also leave their jobs in fear of experiencing the same treatment and to ensure their future security.
Let us always be reminded of the effects of bullying. Let us stop bullying now and make the world a better place.
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