WE’VE all heard about the increase in bullying among children, but workplace bullying among adults is also a growing problem. According to recent reports, 35 to 50 percent of U.S. employees say they were bullied in the course of their career.
At companies across America, employers and workers are discovering a problem that’s bad for morale, bad for their own health and happiness, and bad for the bottom line: workplace bullying.
What can you do if you’re bullied at work? Dr. Colleen Logan, Walden University’s program director for the M.S. in Career Counseling program, and an expert in bullying issues, offers some advice:
• Know the signs. Workplace bullying can include verbal abuse, threats, gossip, the silent treatment, offensive conduct, humiliation, intimidation, and work interference or sabotage.
• Be honest with yourself. It’s easy to discount or ignore bullying, thinking you might be reading the situation wrongly, but if you think you’re being bullied, you likely are.
• Set boundaries. Tell yourself you do not have to stand for this behavior and will not be victimized. Remain in charge of your values, decisions, behavior and conduct.
• Get ready to confront the bully. Mentally prepare to send a clear and consistent message that the bullying needs to stop.
• Make a formal complaint. Talk to your boss. Provide specific details about the bullying and how it affects you and your work. If your boss is the bully, talk to a human resources representative.
• Seek alternative employment. If your workplace doesn’t change, take steps to find a nonhostile work environment where colleagues listen to one another’s viewpoint with respect, agree to disagree and move forward.
“Bullying in the workplace is fundamentally wrong. It can cause physical, mental and emotional harm as well as long-term career problems,” says Dr. Logan. “Although no one wants to admit to being the bully or to being bullied, everyone has the right to work in a healthy, nonhostile work environment.”
For more information, tips and other resources for victims of bullying and those who witness bullying in the workplace, visit www.WaldenU.edu/bullyprevention.
North American Precis Syndicate