In this article, we will talk about how to combat bullies in the workplace. And by combat, we do not mean engaging in a physical or verbal fight. We are talking about strategies that you can use to fend off these corporate predators.
Before we proceed, let us first look at an overview of this topic. Workplace bullying is a legitimate issue in today’s workforce. Based on a recent study, more than 50% of employees have either experienced or witness some form of bullying in their office or workplace bullying stories. You might be surprised to know that workplace bullying is just as prevalent as school bullying. However, very few offices have actual policies that can actually combat this concern. Many workplaces still do not know how to address workplace bullying. In fact, there are quite a number of companies who just choose to sweep this issue under a rug.
Depending on the situation, you choose to address this issue formally or informally. If you choose to solve it formally, then you will first need to collect evidence that will prove the bullying. Evidences can be in the form of emails or written statements by other coworkers who have witnessed the hostile behavior. Next, you need to figure out whom to approach regarding this issue. There are some managers who have biases. They can make things worse for you especially if they end up defending the bully. You need to be careful. It is necessary to find another manager or supervisor who can handle the issue in an unbiased way.
Also, take note that it is not always advisable to go to your company’s HR department. Unless they have an anti-bullying policy in effect, the HR department is not capable of protecting you. They are not even obliged to treat your concern with confidentiality. There are instances when someone from the HR department ends up telling the bully about the issue that you brought up. This will just make the situation for you. Remember, the HR department does not make decisions. They do not have the power to do that. It is best if you stay away from them at first.
If you want to resolve the issue informally, here’s what you can do. You can work on building your credibility in the office. Establish yourself as someone who is reliable, dependable, and knowledgeable. Make sure that your value is known and heard. This will help you in earning the trust and respect of the decision makers at work. When the bully sees that you are in a favorable position, then he or she will realize that you are actually in a position that can potentially damage his or her career.
What should you do if none of these works? You can always seek legal advice and assistance. However, that can cause you a lot of time, effort, and money. If you know that you have exhausted all your possible options and nothing still worked, then maybe it is time to give yourself a break. You are just hurting your well-being by staying with an employer who does not care about you. It will be so much better if you leave the company and find an employer who will treat you better.