Unfortunately, many people will experience workplace bullying at some point in their life, which can have negative long-term physical and emotional consequences. Workplace bullying refers to a persistent pattern of mistreatment from others in the workplace. This includes verbal, nonverbal, psychological, and physical abuse, as well as humiliation.
Examples of workplace bullying include:
- Criticism or insults
- Spreading rumours
- Excluding someone
- Giving someone impossible targets
- Threatening or intimidating someone
- Physical violence
Workplace bullying can have a devastating impact on the victim’s physical and mental health, and can lead to anxiety, depression, stress, sleep problems, and physical illness. It can also damage the victim’s self-esteem and confidence, and make it difficult for them to perform their job effectively. Additionally, workplace bullying can also have a negative impact on the organisation as a whole by damaging its reputation and morale, and leading to increased staff absences and high staff turnover. It is also important to note that workplace bullying in an early childhood setting can also impact on the children who may witness the bullying.
If you are being bullied at work, there are a number of things you can do:
- Talk to your manager. They should have a policy in place to deal with workplace bullying.
- Document the bullying behaviour by keeping a record of the dates, times, and details of the incidents.
- Talk to a trusted colleague or friend who can offer support and advice.
- Seek professional help if you are struggling to cope. This can support you in developing strategies for dealing with it.
- Remember you can also contact your Showcase Training tutor, our Mental Health First Aider (Lauren Toole), our Mental Health Lead (Nicola Bailey), or our Safeguarding Lead (Ellen Roberts) if you are unsure of where to turn to. Just call us on 0330 320 9230 or on our direct numbers if you have them.
If you are an employer, there are a number of things you can do to prevent workplace bullying. It is important to create a workplace culture where bullying is not tolerated and make it clear that there will be consequences for those who engage in it. Every setting should have a clear anti-bullying policy in place and provide training to employees on bullying and harassment. This will help employees to recognise bullying behaviour and know what to do if they see it happening. Everyone should be able to report bullying without fear of retaliation.
Workplace bullying can have a devastating impact, but it is important to recognise that it can be prevented. By taking steps to create a supportive and inclusive workplace, employers can help to protect their employees from bullying and harassment.
Remember you are not alone, and always reach out to someone if you are struggling! Bullying is never acceptable, under any circumstances.