Workplace Bullying: The Elephant In The Office
We spend a third of our life in the workplace, maybe more, and so, you need to ensure that this place you go to is fulfilling you in as many ways possible. However, with the workplace environments comes conflict. Office politics is one of those things that is very common, but what is almost as common is workplace bullying. It's something that we can brush off, especially if it's happening to us, but do you know the signs of bullying and what can you do about it?
Spotting The Signs And Behaviors
It can happen from a person above you, or a contemporary. And while it's important to report this to a superior, if it's them that is responsible, they could be doing it in subtle ways, or in a very overt manner. They could criticize your abilities, or undermine your work, or remove key duties from you, as well as segregate you. These are all signs to look out for, but, as an employee, when you feel like you don't have many rights, you can feel somewhat powerless. But this is not the case.
Dealing With This
You have various options. If someone above you is the culprit, you can either go above them and make a fully-fledged complaint, or if you feel you are unable to cope, you could speak to them directly. This can cause additional conflict, of course, but your happiness is at stake. It's always important to know your rights, but you shouldn't stand for this type of behavior. The important thing to do is to document every instance, especially if it happens over time, and you can build a case against the person. If you have quantifiable evidence, you may want to hire these lawyers should things get tense and they threaten you with unemployment. But within a company framework, there are so there are specific HR procedures to follow to ensure the problem is dealt with. However, you may find that this doesn't solve the problem, and you are back at square one.
You shouldn't stand for this at all, and while it can feel like admitting defeat if you have to quit your job, you need to remember that your happiness, above all else, takes priority. If it's a systemic thing, and bullying is rife within the company, you can take legal action, but there comes a point where you need to determine whether this is impacting your health. Remember, while it's gratifying to fight these battles, not just for you, but for future employees, bullying is something that shouldn't be stood for, regardless of the perpetrator. Unfortunately, it is still commonplace, but you need to move on, and realize that these people have a chip on their shoulder. It can feel very difficult to let this go, because you can be very angry with yourself that you didn't do more, but whether you believe in karma not, these people will get theirs!
Unfortunately, workplace bullying takes many different forms, but so many people feel they should stick it out, especially for future perks in the job. This is a mindset that has to change.