Bullying @ Work Place

bullying in the workplace. aggression and conflict among colleag

I firmly believe that some people never mentally leave Senior Secondary high school. What else can account for the phenomenon of workplace bullying? Workplace bullying has been going on for years in some form or another, yet only now do we understand what it is and how to combat it effectively.

First of All, let’s understand what is workplace bullying? According to the 2014 Workplace Bullying Institute U.S Survey, this is “repeated, health or mental-harming or mistreatment of one or more persons (the targets) by one or more perpetrators.” This can include threatening someone or trying to intimidate them, work interference or sabotage or hostile verbal abuse.
This often stems from one person’s need to control or influence another person. Often it escalates into situations involving others taking side with the bully to either provoke a response or cause some kind of consequence for the one being bullied. This is problematic because this type of behaviour can interfere with the course of business when the bully’s agenda takes precedence over work interests.

Now the second question arise why do people bully? There are many reasons someone would feel the need to bully another in the workplace. The Workplace Bullying Institute lists reasons why someone gets bullied. “Feeling threatened by those he or she regard as endangering his or her job security” If you feel that someone is not doing their job well, you may give them a hard time.

Another strong reason is having secret hidden agenda only known to bully, or the bully is seeking attention. At times, some employees believe that bad behaviour can help them to gain control of the events. At times, it also stems from childhood subconscious acts/subconscious replay of childhood behaviours also coupled with strong feeling of anger, fear, and inferiority complex. If you feel someone threatens your job security and you depend a lot on it, you may go to extreme lengths to protect it, even become a bully.

Bullying can be in the form of Verbal, Physical, and Emotional .

Examples of Common Verbal Bullying in Corporate Environment
Continuous Sarcasm, mockery, teasing, personal remarks, sexist references, put downs, threats, humiliation

If you are involved in conflict resolution, you must have heard these allegations from employees

Don’t’ forget I know XYZ from Top management and one word to them is enough for you to X……..
Don’t’ forget that who am I
I know how to do it (you don’t)
I can do it better than you will ever
Above, statements reflect Ability to work the system, Status, Knowledge and experience.
Examples of emotional bullying
Ready Explosive temper, continuously in anger mode, jealousy, ignoring, instilling fear, withdrawal, indifference, refusal.

Examples of Physical Bullying
Threatening body Language, kicking furniture, slamming the door, blocking doorways, banging on tables, touching, spilling drinks, constant hovering.

Do HR or Organization think that bullying a Workplace Issue?
This is precisely the problem with bullying in the workplace; it causes obstacles to productivity and will ultimately hurt the bottom line. It most certainly is a workplace issue and left unresolved, it will cause long-term problems in any business. Employees who get away with bullying new and vulnerable employees with cause more and more turnover and eventually led to an inability to retain valuable talent and HR keep wondering why employees are leaving. Many of the employees will not even mention this in the exit interview.

Examples of Workplace Bullying includes hounding or hazing new employees. Giving the assistance that hurts more than helps, giving contradictory information to Management about a bullying target’s performance, or making other employees feel threatened by that target.

Bullying Affects an Employee, Such behavior can cause feelings of despair, complacency and a lack of motivation in targeted employees. They feel that since the bully gets away with this behavior, the company is not worth giving their best effort to, and this results in employee actively searching jobs in the open market.

Bullying can Impact the Workplace, If this sentiment spreads to multiple employees, it can lead to an unmotivated, wary and scared employee base. Which prompts them to show disinterest in taking the initiative since they are worried about the actions the bully or bullies might make in response.

What you should do if you feel if you are being bullied, The best manner of dealing with workplace bullying is first to identify what kind of bullying you are suffering from (emotional or verbal or physical) and who is the primary person responsible for it. This helps validate yourself and give you the confidence to take some action.

Next, take some time to yourself or some time off to heal from the effects of this bullying and make up a plan of attack.
This person may have much influence on your job and making blanket accusations against them could backfire in your face. Ensure that you have a plan.
You also need to choose words very carefully use words which are Positive and Firm, Direct, Courageous and Assertive.

If bully sees that you are suffering then, it will bully to reinforce the authority the bully has on you.

Another way to do is detach emotionally and don’t show how you feel. Be neutral in your words, body language, tone, actions and your behaviour at the workplace and don’t take this into social media.
Finally, make your move. Expose the bully and show how their action is making it harder for the company to do business effectively. Try not to so into too much detail about how bad they made you feel. Good bosses care about how their employees feel while at work. Most, however, only care about the bottom line. Appeal to that and you are more likely to find help from your boss or approach to HR.
You should also ask yourself if you have acted in any way disrespectful or arrogant that may have in any way precipitated the treatment you are receiving.

Talk to your friends and loved ones and ask them if you are over-reacting or if you have a valid grievance against the person whom you think has targeted you for bullying. Then, identify the type of bullying you are receiving; are you being bullied psychologically, emotionally or verbally? Is the person targeting you trying to get you fired or make you want to quit or are they just attempting to let you know they are superior to you.

The role of Human Resources is mainly to help maintain the legal health of the company and protect employees in the case where the company is liable and to maintain a safe workplace.
If you let the HR of your company know that you are not only being hindered in the carrying out of your duties. Also, you are being put in an unsafe workplace; the HR department is required to address it. Also, HR can do good if they can expose the bullying situations. If you feel that threatened by those who are targeting you for workplace bullying, tell your HR department the effect the bully(s) are having in your belief that you are in a safe work environment. They will attend to your concerns efficiently if you do as they are trained in carrying out this kind subliminal and undetectable issues