Unfortunately, cliques and bullying do not always end in middle school; bullying at work is real and can be devastating. In fact, the World Health Organization reports that, “A negative working environment may lead to physical and mental health problems, harmful use of substances or alcohol, absenteeism and lost productivity.” Bullying at work is detrimental to both the victim as well as the company as a whole. Employers should be aware of and actively discourage any signs of bullying at work.
Below are some of the signs of bullying at work that employers and employees alike should be aware of.
Being kept out of the loop
One sign of bullying at work is when an individual is being ignored, overlooked, or isolated. When done in mass it can be a result of a bully coercing others into not talking, working, or socializing with a specific person.
Given impossible tasks to complete
A person is given unrealistic tasks without proper resources and training and then berated when they failed to meet expectations. Especially blatant when co-workers commit similar or worse “infractions” or fail to meet goals with no negative consequences.
Supervisor or HR tells you to deal with it on your own
Additional bullying at work can occur when you file a complaint and then are told by a superior or HR that the harassment is not illegal and that you should just “work it out” on your own. Or, even more severe, is when a superior agrees that your tormentor is horrible but refuses to do anything about it..
Humiliated in front of others
It is not acceptable to have a supervisor yell at you or belittle you in front of others. Being treated disrespectfully, condescendingly, and insultingly are all signs of bullying at work and unacceptable workplace etiquette.
Workplace bullying can leave an individual feeling anxious, depressed, and physically ill and can disrupt the productivity of a company as a whole. It is toxic behavior that should be avoided at all costs.