bullying at work part 1
Updated: Feb 19, 2019
It’s not you, it’s them: are you being bullied at work?
Here are some pretty shocking statistics, released by the Trades Union Congress (TUC). In 2015, nearly a third of people said they’d been victims of bullying at work. Women are more likely to be affected, and the most common age range to be victimised is 40 to 59. Over a third of victims end up changing jobs because of bullying, and in a truly appalling 72 per cent of cases the bullying was carried out by a manager.
You may not be thinking that the word ‘bullying’ applies to you. Yes, you might not look forward to going into work, and a certain member of staff might make you feel uncomfortable on a regular basis – but surely that doesn’t count as bullying? The truth is, bullying can take many different forms, and it’s just as prevalent in the workplace as it is in the schoolyard. Just because no-one’s throwing your satchel into a tree or giving you Chinese burns anymore does not mean you’re not experiencing bullying. Here are a few points to look out for.
Bullying can be subtle and insidious, like the drip, drip, drip of water torture. You might have a history of being very competent or even outstanding at your job, but a boss or colleague might give you nothing but criticism. Not constructive feedback, either – just a constant background drone that you’re doing a bad job. That’s a form of bullying. They might also scream, shout or seek to humiliate you, particularly in public. Or, instead of shouting at you in public, they may choose to spread hurtful rumours about you behind your back, or to exclude you from social or work events such as lunches or meetings, isolating you from your co-workers. These things are all a form of bullying. A workplace bully may even try to sabotage you to try and make you look incompetent, such as adding in extra meetings at the last minute and then shouting you down for not preparing adequately. Or, if you produce an outstanding piece of work, they may swoop down and steal credit for it, pushing you back into the shadows.
Workplace bullying is rarely physical, but can have a huge effect on your mental health and ability to do your job, and the first step to dealing with it is to identify that it’s happening. In subsequent blog posts, we’ll be looking at how to deal with bullying and how to support others in your organisation.
At Amber Consulting, we offer individual or organisation-wide coaching to identify if you have a culture of bullying in your workplace, and how you can address it. To find out more, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call Julia on 07775 681050.