Do you think workplace bullying is an anomaly or fairly common? According to recent research from staffing firm OfficeTeam, 35% of workers surveyed admitted they’ve had an office bully.
When workers were asked how they responded to a bully:
- 32% said they confronted the person
- 27% told their manager
- 13% quit their jobs
- 17% did nothing
- 11% took other action.
And when HR managers were asked, “How often do you think office bullying takes place at your company?”:
- 6% said very often
- 21% said somewhat often
- 35% said not very often
- 38% said never.
Similar research also found that workplace bullying is fairly common in Canada, too.
So what should you do if you’re the victim of a bully in your workplace? Here are five tips:
- Take a stand. Avoid being an easy target. Bullies often back off if you show confidence and stick up for yourself.
- Talk it out. Have a one-on-one discussion with the bully, providing examples of behaviours that made you feel uncomfortable. It’s possible the person is unaware of how his or her actions are negatively affecting others.
- Keep your cool. Don’t stoop to the bully’s level. Stay calm and professional.
- Document poor conduct. Maintain a record of instances of workplace bullying, detailing what was said or done by the individual.
- Seek support. If the issue is serious or you aren’t able to resolve it on your own, alert your supervisor, manager or HR department for assistance.
The OHS Insider has a lot of information, tools and resources on workplace bullying, such as:
- The need for employers to take steps to recognize and address increasing levels of workplace bullying and its costly impact
- Cases in which bullying led to a worker’s suicide
- Impact of bullying on the bystanders who witness it
- The costs of permitting workplace bullies
- Links between sleep and bullying
- Information on why employers can’t tolerate bullying
- A workplace violence infographic.