School-based bullying attracts more attention over the years but adults also bully and get bullied all the time in surprising places. Universities, hospitals, schools, corporations, and even the police stations are all settings where the real, common, and shockingly workplace bullying happens. A new study conducted by the Conference Board of Canada called: “Workplace Bullying Primer: What It Is and How to Deal With” clearly describes the rapidly increasing problem of workplace bullying. “Top Down” bullying is the most common form of workplace bullying in which a superior bullies his subordinates. Other forms include what we call “Lateral” or peer to peer and “Bottom Up” or employee bullies superior can also occur regularly. It was found out that email is the major method of workplace bullying. Email is considered as ubiquitous but it can be a feeding ground for nastiness around the workplace. Office rumors and innuendo can spread like wildfire in an instant behind the anonymity of a computer screen. When it comes to forms of bullying, women more often report about bullying from men in the workplace. Men on the other hand, direct their bullying behavior towards the work of victims. According to Shimi Kang, M.D., as a psychiatrist and addiction specialist, she can see the adverse effects of all kinds of workplace bullying on all types of people in her practice. Notable common effects experienced of workplace bullying includes symptoms of stress, mental health issues, disability leave, frequent absences, employee turnover, less productivity, lower job satisfaction, and increased legal fees for the company. How to solve workplace bullying? The problem is definitely real and there is a corresponding solution. The most effective leadership approach to workplace bullying is the Dolphin Management Style. You can read more of Shimi Kang, M.D.’s article as published in Psychology Today.
A recent bullying case presented to the Fair Work Commission involving two employees and a property manager, had the Commission issue an order for both parties to avoid each other at work. The two employees filed separate applications with the Commission about an alleged workplace bullying incident involving the same property manager. The two employees claimed that the bully manager used physical intimidation, belittled the employees, yelled at and used inappropriate language at the work place, among others.
The incident was previously raised to the employer of these bullying victims and the property manager, which reportedly resulted to the manager’s resignation. However, the bully manager was employed at a related company that operated in a different work location. Despite the distance, the Fair Work Commission found that there is a probability that these three may meet or have future interactions. This prompted the Commission to mandate the bully manager not to interact with the two employees or access their profiles, including barring the property manager from entering the workplace while the two employees are at work. The same order was given to the bullying victims. The Commission also said the order will remain in force for 2 years.
The Commission’s mandate may seem a little harsh or even funny to some, but for victims of workplace bullies, this gives them added protection and comfort in knowing that they won’t experience further bullying from the manager. It also allows them to feel more secure in the work place after being subjected to such a negative working environment.
To read more about the case, as well as other mandates the Commission ordered the company to do, click here.
Bullying in the workplace can happen in many ways. It can also come from different people, and at times, it can also be your boss. Some bully bosses may be seen as a tyrant, a control freak or a manipulator. These characteristics and behaviors sometimes confuses employees into thinking that the boss is a tough one, when in fact, he or she may already be acting like a bully.
Even if you try to avoid becoming a target of the bully boss’ attention and striving hard to do a great job, nothing seems to work. You’re working life has now become very stressful, to the point that it may be unbearable at times. So what do you do? How do you deal with the situation?
Faith Wood, a Conflict Coach, author and professional speaker, suggested six strategies that a bullying victim can do in order to make their working environment more livable. Most of Wood’s suggestions has already been mentioned by other experts on the field of workplace bullying. However, some of her tips provided a slightly different approach on how to handle being bullied at work such as learning to say no in a professional manner.
To read more about the six strategies in dealing with a bully boss, click here.