Identifying bullying the in the workplace is important for management in order to help keep up morale and make the office a safe, productive place for every employee in a company. Bullying can take make forms and it can be either subtle or aggressive. Being able to recognize it can help managers deal with the bullies and put an end to unproductive, unnecessary behavior in the workplace.
Types of Workplace Bullying
Bullying is defined as an unwanted, aggressive behavior that involves a real or perceived power imbalance. It can be a physical assault, coercion or it can involve verbal threats or harassment. Some examples of bullying in the workplace include:
Personal Attacks – Someone may experience personal harassment or threats by one or more people on the job. Types of harassment may include gossip, rumors or innuendo, either true or false, which inflicts emotional pain. A superior can bully someone personally by insulting them, humiliating them in front of their colleagues or issuing reprimands in front of customers and/or coworkers.
Other types of personal bullying at work can involve faultfinding or unwarranted criticism about work performance. A person may experience aggressive posturing from a co-worker or superior or there could be unwanted physical contact from a colleague. Physical gestures implying threats or intimidating behavior is bullying as well.
Professional Attacks – A person who is being bullied at work may be denied work opportunities or have their projects reassigned to others without any reasonable explanation. Their colleagues or superiors may withhold essential that is needed to perform their job and they may not receive any feedback about work that they have already performed.
A colleague may purposefully take full credit for the work that was done as a team, undermining the bullied person’s status at work. Threatening or toxic emails may be sent to the colleague who is being harassed, either by a superior or by a co-worker.
Manipulative Tactics – People who are bullying others at work may use tactics that are designed to assert control over others. They may threaten someone with their job if they have the power to do so, fail to invite others to important meetings or they may ostracize a victim from their co-workers. Micromanagement can be another form of manipulation.
Being able to recognize bullying tactics is the first step in being aware of bullying in the workplace. When these actions can be identified, they can then be stopped.
Keith Miller has over 25 years experience as a CEO and serial entrepreneur. As an entreprenuer, he has founded several multi-million dollar companies. As a writer, Keith's work has been mentioned in CIO Magazine, Workable, BizTech, and The Charlotte Observer. If you have any questions about the content of this blog post, then please send our content editing team a message here.