Coping with Workplace Bullying in Software Companies
When you wake up in the morning to go to work, you always desire to utilise your skills and earn an income. However, for some, being an employee is not something they look forward to as they prepare themselves to go to work.
One of the things that can demotivate you not to work is conflict. One of the sources of conflicts at work is bullying. What is bullying? And how do you deal with it?
Stick around because in this article, we’re going to discuss bullies at work and how you can deal with workplace bullying.
What is Bullying in the Workplace?
Bullying in the workplace is a serious issue that can have negative impacts on both the victim and the organization as a whole. It can take many forms, including physical, verbal, and emotional abuse, and can occur between coworkers, supervisors and subordinates, or even between customers and employees.
Typically, bullying is using one’s physical strength or position of power aggressively with the intent of hurting, intimidating, abusing, or coercing someone. A bully can hurt the worker/individual in two ways: physically and emotionally.
Experts classify workplace bullying into three types. A worker, supervisor, manager, or CEO can bully one:
- Verbally: Where says or writes mean things about you. They can tease, name call, use inappropriate sexual comments, taunt, or threaten you. It can also involve spreading rumours or lies about someone, or manipulating or coercing them through words. Verbally bullying can be just as damaging as physical bullying and can have serious consequences for the victim's mental and emotional well-being.
- Socially: In this case, the bully will want to hurt your reputation or relationships around you. Examples of this type of bullying include when someone leaves you out on purpose, spreads terrible rumours about you, Tells other workers to stop relating with you, and embarrasses you in public.
- Physically: A worker may choose to hurt you or some of your personal belongings. Some of the things they can do include spitting on you, hitting, pushing, tripping, making mean or rude gestures, punching you, and so forth.
What are the Known Impacts of Workplace Bullying
Bullying can manifest in a variety of behaviours, such as mocking or belittling an individual in front of others, spreading rumours or lies about them, excluding them from important meetings or social gatherings, or assigning them tasks that are demeaning or outside of their job responsibilities. In severe cases, bullying can even involve physical threats or violence.
The effects of workplace bullying can be devastating for the victim. It can lead to reduced job satisfaction, increased stress and anxiety, difficulty sleeping, and even physical health problems. It can also result in decreased productivity and morale, as well as higher turnover rates as employees leave to escape the toxic environment.
You can expect mental and physical impacts when a worker goes through bullying. Some of the effects include:
- Post-traumatic disorders, panic attacks, depression, self-breakdown, poor concentration, compromised memory, and insecurities
- Some workers may also experience mood swings, loss of humour, indecisiveness, hyper-vigilant, and overly sensitive
Additionally, not only does bullying affect an individual, but it also impacts the organization because the worker may become less productive. It also leads to people leaving the workplace to look for better working environments.
Signs of Bullying at Workplace
Workplace bullying can take many forms, but some common signs to look for include:
- Persistent criticism or ridicule
- Exclusion or isolation
- Unfairly being given too much work or unrealistic deadlines
- Being falsely accused of mistakes
- Physical threats or intimidation
- Being shouted at or belittled in front of others
It's important to note that while these behaviours can be upsetting and difficult to deal with, they are not always intentional or malicious. It's always best to approach the situation with an open mind and try to resolve any conflicts in a respectful and professional manner.
Strategies to Deal With Bullying at Workplace
To prevent and address bullying in the workplace, it is important for organisations to have a clear anti-bullying policy in place and to take all reports of bullying seriously. Training programs can also be implemented to educate employees on appropriate behaviour and to create a culture of respect and inclusivity. It is also crucial for managers or team leaders to model positive behaviour and to address any instances of bullying promptly and fairly.
If you have been going through bullying in your job, here are some steps to take.
- Take a look at your company’s policy.
- Don’t wait until the situation becomes worse. Speak about it early.
- Talk to the HR manager, floor managers, or supervisors and ask them to look into this matter.
- Sometimes people make mistakes; take some time to know how to deal with the problem and how to tackle these type of people.
- You can address the bully directly. Ask them to stop what they are doing to you and tell them what consequences might follow.
- Ensure that you document all events. If the habit doesn’t stop, you can use it as evidence in a court of law.
- When the situation is bad, consult an attorney. They’ll provide the necessary steps to follow.
- Take care of yourself outside of work. Look for other activities that will distract you from what’s happening at work.
How to Help When You Witness Bullying
If you witness bullying, it is important to speak up and take action to help the victim. You can start by telling a trusted adult, such as a teacher or counsellor, about the incident. You can also try to defuse the situation by calmly talking to the bully and reminding them of the harm they are causing. You can also offer support and kindness to the victim, and encourage them to seek help if they need it. Remember to always prioritise the safety and well-being of those involved, and do not engage in physical confrontation or retaliate against the bully. By standing up against bullying, you can help create a safer and more inclusive community for everyone.
Workplace Bullying and Occupational Stress: How to Cope
Bullying is one of the many things that can lead to workplace stress. It's critical to keep in mind that you have alternatives if you're experiencing workplace bullying. You might try discussing the matter with your manager or the HR division. Seeking guidance from a therapist or counsellor who can assist you in managing your stress and emotions in the circumstance may also be beneficial. Additionally, make an effort to look after yourself outside the workplace by discovering healthy stress-reduction strategies, such as working exercise, spending time with loved ones, or engaging in activities you find enjoyable. Keep in mind that if you are being bullied, it is not your fault, and you deserve to work in a safe & respectful environment.
Dealing with bullies might be difficult, primarily if you depend on the job. However, sometimes standing your ground can help solve the problem entirely.
We have mentioned some practical strategies to cope with bullying at work. Therefore, keep all of these tips in mind so whenever you face bullying at the workplace, you will easily handle it without creating any conflict with anyone.