Bullied in the Workplace

A different spin on Anti-bullying week as the spotlight gets turned to bullying in the workplace.

Bullying can be a sensitive topic to as many of us faced bullying in childhood, when in schools or even playing outside, but for other people the bullying still goes on in their adult life in the work place. The work environment should be a place where everyone is respected and seen as equal, but in reality not everyone gets such a pleasant experience.

As it is anti-bullying week this week from 13th-17th of November 2017, those who have been bullied are coming together to raise awareness of bullying and how those who are bullied can speak out and overcome it. The normal things we are taught as children is that if we are bullied there is always someone that can help you by speaking to a friend or teacher. What we were never taught is that bullying can happen at work, and speaking out on it might not be easy if your bully is your boss.

 

How do you know if you’re being bullied? According to the Gov.uk website, bullying or harassment can be anything from:

  • Spreading malicious rumours
  • Unfair treatment
  • Spreading malicious rumours
  • Denying training or promotion opportunities

All of these types of behaviour can be seen as bullying and should not be accepted.

 

What problems could staff face with speaking out against workplace bullying?

Well in most cases its easier said than done when it comes to standing up to a bully. In a work environment it could be embarrassing owning up to being bullied, as staff may feel that they’re too old to be considered as a victim of bullying. That’s not the case.

 

Christopher 35, shared that he had once had to deal with a bully in the Call centre that he has worked in for 2 years.

“He was just awful, always unhappy and screamed at anyone for even the slightest reasons. He would never listen to any of my ideas and purposely exclude me, he was known for being the scary manager.”

He went on to say that it was “embarrassing to be constantly undermined” and until this incident he “didn’t know that bullying could happen to an adult at work.”

If you feel that you are being mistreated or bullied at work there are organstions available to help you feel comfortable in your place of work. There are helplines that can be called to help you to find a solution to the bullying.

I contacted the  ACAS (Advisory Conciliation and Arbitration service) to find out what actions should be taken if you’re being bullied at work. ACAS representative Brian suggested that you should:

  • Read up on your workplace’s harassment and Bullying policy
  • Raise the issues informally with a manager
  • Explain why you think you are being treated unfairly as some people may not be aware of how they are coming across to others
  • Keep a log of situations you were bullied in and state when it happened and if any witnesses were around for evidence.

According to ACAS majority of the issues get solved once it is raised informally because a lot of the time things are mis-interpreted and explaining just how you feel does make a difference.

 

Tyra Guy-Williams

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