In today’s Reno Gazette Journal, there was an article titled “Bullies at work all too common.” From cyber-bullies utilizing facebook and other social media to bullies at work, this seems to be a common topic lately. This particular article really struck me as interesting because the article reports that 27% of people at work have reported being bullied.
- Of those 27% who were bullied, 47% actually confronted the bully (and 43% reported the bullying ended after confrontation)
- 14% said their boss was the bully
- 11% said their co-workers/peers were the bullies
- 28% who reported their bullies to HR, more than 33% said measures were taken to resolve it (a low number if you ask me)
- 15% of workers witnessed other workers being bullied
So what exactly is bullying?
Bullying, whether verbal or environmental, causes the worker to feel like the victim. Some ways people feel like the bully are:
- Being harshly criticized
- Started and policies are applied differently to one person compared to others
- Someone steals credit for work that they didn’t do
- Belittling comments are made during work meetings about a worker
- A boss yells at their staff in front of others
If this happens, how do I handle it?
The article provides tips on how to handle a situation where you may feel tormented or intimidated at work. The tips are:
- Identify the problem – there is a difference between not liking a colleague and having clashing personality types versus feeling like an attacked victim. Identify if the problem is bullying.
- Document the problem – “If you’re being bullied, you’re not the problem, the other person is.” Don’t give in to what the other person is telling you. Instead, focus on what you’re tasks are and document incidents in order to present a case to HR if need be.
- Know your options – The ideal situation would be so discuss the problem with the bully. If this isn’t an option, consider reporting the bullying with someone who has the ability to intervene.
- Understand what you want to happen – Understand that leaving your job may be a possibility if the situation doesn’t get better. Essentially, you need to do what will make you happy.