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How to Tackle Bullying in the Workplace

Bullying in the workplace is a serious issue that can have a significant impact on your well-being and professional life. It’s essential to address this problem quickly and effectively. Here are some steps to consider if you are bullied at work:

1. Recognise the Behaviour

Identifying and acknowledging that you’re experiencing bullying is the first step. Bullying can manifest in various forms such as verbal abuse, exclusion, intimidation, or undermining behaviour.

If you are working flexibly it might be repeated comments of “on half day again” as you leave to pick your children up from school, or “you need to leave your problems at home” if you are caring for a sick loved one.

Recognising these actions as unacceptable is crucial.

lady with 'kick me' sign taped to back

2. Document the Incidents

Keep a written record of the bullying incidents including dates, times, witnesses, and details of what happened. Documentation can provide a clear picture of the situation if you need to report it to HR or management.

3. Seek Support

Talk to someone you trust—a friend, family member, colleague, or us—about what you’re experiencing. Seeking support can help you feel less isolated and provide perspectives on how to handle the situation.

4. Understand the Company Policy

Familiarise yourself with your company’s policies regarding harassment and bullying.

This will guide you on the proper procedures to follow when reporting such incidents.

5. Confront the Bully (if safe to do so)

If you feel comfortable and safe, consider addressing the behaviour directly with the person bullying you. Sometimes, they might not realise the impact of their actions. Be assertive and express how their behaviour is affecting you, but only do this if you feel it is safe and appropriate to do so.

four ladies looking down

6. Report to HR or Management

If the bullying persists or if you’re uncomfortable confronting the person directly, report the incidents to your HR department or a higher authority. Present your documented evidence and seek their help in resolving the issue.

7. Take Care of Yourself

Bullying can take a toll on mental health. Practice self-care by engaging in activities that help reduce stress and maintain your well-being. Consider speaking to a counsellor or therapist for additional support, this is not being weak, this is prioritising your mental health.

8. Consider Legal Options

In extreme cases where the situation doesn’t improve or escalates, seeking legal advice might be necessary. Employment laws protect individuals from harassment and discrimination in the workplace. Your HR might be able to recommend a HR Lawyer, or speak to your Tribe coach as we have a small number of trusted specialists we can introduce you to.

9. Explore Other Opportunities

If the workplace environment remains toxic despite efforts to address the bullying, consider looking for alternative job opportunities where you feel respected and valued.

Remember, being bullied at work is not your fault, and everyone has the right to work in a safe and respectful environment. Taking action against bullying can be challenging, but it’s essential for your well-being and the overall health of the workplace. Don’t hesitate to seek support and follow the necessary steps to address the issue.

Useful Resources:

adult & child hands on computer keyboard

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