Are you a victim of bullying in the workplace?

If you consider using the term ‘bullying’ to describe a situation you are experiencing in the workplace, it is an indication that you are obviously under some stress in your working relationship(s) with the person/people involved. Regardless of why this is so, it is likely that you are finding it difficult to come into work, or find any interactions with the other person(s) very difficult.

You may also be experiencing some physical or psychological symptoms of stress – for example anxiety/panic attacks, insomnia to nausea, tiredness and inability to concentrate. Or you might have strong feelings of despair or powerlessness, feeling that you are being in some way victimised by the other person or persons.

What can you do in this situation?

So what sort of options do you have in a situation like this, where you come to work every day and have to interact or be around someone where you find their behaviour towards you very difficult to bear?

Your organisation or company should have in place an anti-bullying policy which should lay out a clear path that you can take in having such a situation addressed. Most policies have two stages.

Informal:

where you attempt either alone or with support to meet with that person and seek to resolve the difficulties between you. Your policy may also contain options at the informal stage such as talking to a Designated Contact Person or engaging in mediation with the other person(s).

Formal:

where you submit a written statement of your complaint and this is then investigated by a senior person or panel of persons who are suitably qualified. The emphasis in the formal stage is in determining whether your complaint is valid or not.

Whether or not the behaviour you consider is being directed at you does technically meet the definitions of bullying or harassment, current best practice is leaning towards supporting people to try to address and resolve the situation at an informal level. This is because it can be much faster and as it’s not about trying to attribute fault or blame to any side, avoids the exacerbation of the situation that might come from going through a formal investigative process.

If you think you may have been bullied at work, we can help – talk to us today