Workplace Bullying – The Menace That Refuses To Die Down

Bullying at Workplace

Bullying at Workplace means the continual trauma faced by a person, who is working in some organization due to some other colleague in an emotional or physical form.  This aggressive behavior is quite tough to handle by the victim as workplace bullies will pretend very well as if they are obedient to the rules of their organization. Mostly it has been noted that bullying in the workplace is done by someone who has authority over their victim. Nevertheless, bullying can even be done by peers and rarely by subordinates.

In The Article

Bullying At Workplace


The conditions that induce different kinds of workplace bullying behaviors by the mischievous employees comprises of:

  • The threat of damage to individual status Things such as sarcasm, persistent teasing, insults, intimidation, name-calling and underestimating individual honesty.
  • Doing things that very badly disturbs the stable mindset  – Mind becomes unstable on what to do or not when there is happening of things like:
    • Allocation of meaningless tasks
    • Repeated reminders of blunders
    • Setting target up to fail
    • Removal of responsibility
    • Shifting goal posts without telling the target and
    • Failure to acknowledge good work.
  • Overwork Including undue pressure, impossible deadlines, unnecessary disruptions.
  • Isolation Including preventing access to opportunities, physical or social isolation, withholding necessary information, keeping the target out of the loop, ignoring or excluding

The relationships among the participants in workplace bullying can be like:

  • Between supervisor and subordinate
  • Among co-workers
  • Employees and customers

Bullying practice is seen across multiple professions like

  • Teaching (schools and colleges)
  • Blue Collar jobs, Medicine
  • Information Technology
  • Legal profession
  •  Military etc.

Workplace Bullying can be in forms like

  • serial bullying
  • gang bullying pair bullying
  • secondary bullying
  • regulation bullying
  • vicarious bullying
  • legal bullying
  • corporate bullying 


Health Issues And Costs To The Organization


The victims of bullying can suffer health-related issues due to workplace bullying. Workplace bullying has now been given due recognition by organizations considering the involvement of costs for them due to the bad health of its employees. Several types of research done earlier have pointed that an organization will become unproductive when some of its employees suffer mental health problems or illness.

When the targeted individuals in an organization suffer, the organization could also face a danger in the form of a decline in employee confidence and organizational culture. Lower employee confidence will affect both individual and organizational productivity. Organizational cultural changes could cause more unhealthy incidents happening in the organization.

The negative health-related effects of bullying are so severe that it might lead to posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and even suicide are not uncommon. According to various researches conducted by different research groups, posttraumatic stress disorder is experienced by at least a majority of the overall participants (victims who have suffered).

It must also be noted that co-employees who are a witness to workplace bullying incidents are also seen to face health issues like emotional exhaustion, stress, and fear.  Certain employees who see workplace bullying happening on a regular basis in the organization, tend to exit from the job. The values or principles on which an organization operates such as peer communication, group cohesion, and overall job performance can be largely affected owing to workplace bullying incidents.

How To Stop The Practice Of Bullying At Workplace?

There are some strategies that can be adopted in an organization by:

1. Top Management


The people in top management can avert bullying practice by:

  1. Doing a revisit of organizational policies – People in the top management must ensure that there is mutual respect existing for all employees in the organization and the former can bring some healthy changes in the organizational policies.  A revisit on questions like whether the workers have been given clear instructions on the treatment of co-employees and are there a proper channel in place for employees to report of bullying at the workplace.
  2. Trying to treat the complaints received in the fairest manner possible – Implement a standard investigation process to evaluate every reported incident. Establish a universal disciplinary policy for instigators of bullying. Customers also need to be protected from being bullied because there is a probability of them getting affected.
  3. Employees must easily access all the provided support systems and communication channels – It is necessary to bring a method that assures that a repeat instance of bullying happening in the organization is not reported by any employee. Toll-free numbers are kept by some organizations to enable employees report about bullying incidents that happen or even if they are targeted. In this regard, customer surveys and employee surveys can be undertaken for effectively solving the bullying issue.
  4. Conducting training sessions – All employees must be given the necessary training on how to communicate with others in a decent manner and about the repercussions if bad behavior is shown. Training sessions are conducted by several organizations for their employees in areas like how to respond, recognize and also try to avoid bad behaviors like bullying or aggressive behavior that could happen within the organizational work environment.

2. Supervisors and Middle Managers


  1. Closely observe how employees behave with each other and hear out their grievances: Employee grievances can be heard in both formal and informal manner Listen to employee concerns both formally and informally. It is quite easy to see the abrupt behavioral changes happening in employees because you more closely observe their behavior than your senior-level colleagues.
  2. You must resolve all kinds of issues and aggression that are happening: You must never allow bad behavior such as the use of foul language in the organizational environment, wherever that is reported by the affected or neutral (neither affected nor causing risk) employees. If required, it is better to follow through and infuse the element of discipline after proper advice.
  3. Converse with the junior employees: You can involve in communication with the junior employees throughout whichever channel possible and give due regards to their views. It is the supervisors and managers who can really bring about good workplace behavior amongst your employees, who will be observing your behavior and react accordingly.
  4. Conduct, attend and support training sessions: It is necessary for giving training to employees while they are on the job to how to indulge in decent workplace communications. It is not necessary for employees to just accept on some policy during this period and all employees must understand, which is good behavior and which is not good behavior. Effective training must be given to the employees on how to tackle the bullying incident/s and similar type of indecent activities.

3. Employees


Employees must review themselves and their work environment to really understand how you are being seen or treated. Employees must look out on matters like how they are presently treated when compared to previously? In case if there are some changes, they must analyze what or who is responsible for this, maybe the schedule, assignments or supervisors. Think whether, if they are responsible for infusing some kind of disappointment within you?  In case of bad treatment given to you, have you interacted with the other person who indulged in this kind of behavior and spoke with him/her to stop (only, if that trouble-monger is a guy with whom discussion can be held)?

Stand out as a model for encouraging good, ethical behavior that you see in your daily communications: As an employee, you must definitely respect your co-employees to receive the same in return. You must think about whether you are respecting all other employees with whom you interact through various channels?

Interact when someone behaves in a bad manner with you: It is better for you if you feel safe, to interact with the person who has behaved wrongly with you during a conversation. It is necessary for you to tell him about his behavior and provide him that chance to change rather than immediately deciding that he is bullying you.

Start conversing immediately when you witness a bullying incident: It is necessary for you to directly talk with the person who involves in bullying if it is safe or report the incident to your supervisor, HR, or leadership team. It is not imperative that you must definitely be the target, for reporting a bullying incident.

Be a participant in the training sessions: Every employee must participate in skill development and awareness training. This acts as the base for effectuating the policies of the organization and it can be followed on all working days.

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