The workplace is like an extension of the school playground, with different personalities clashing with each other — the popular kids, the no-nonsense brainiacs, the do-gooders, the bullies, and the bullied. Sadly, bullying is a significant and serious hazard in the workplace. Aside from affecting the mental and physical health, it could likewise reduce office productivity and disrupt the entire workplace.
What Exactly is Workplace Bullying?
Workplace bullying involves the unreasonable and repeated behaviour that’s directed towards one employee or a group of employees that creates a hazard to their safety and health in the workplace. I.R.Thompson Associates Ltd noted that this recurrent behaviour is persistent and involves a variety of actions that usually includes the following:
- The use of threatening language
- Repeated putdowns, most especially in a public setting
- Persistent fault finding, nitpicking and discounting what the bullied individual says
- Threatening job security
- Rejecting the acknowledgement of the bullied individual’s achievements and contributions
- Refusing the bullied individual’s right to take entitled breaks
- Singling out and treating the bullied individual differently
- Making embarrassing remarks regarding the appearance of the bullied individual
- Overloading the bullied individual with work or taking away their responsibilities at work
What to Do with Workplace Bullying?
It is crucial to note that under the Employment Law of NZ, employers are legally responsible for controlling workplace hazards, which includes bullying and other forms of undesirable behaviours. This means that if you feel that you’re being bullied in the workplace, you have to raise the issue with your employer. They are legally obligated to provide you with a safe environment for working.
You should follow the procedures and policies of your workplace regarding raising a bullying claim. If your workplace doesn’t have policies in place, write a letter about the bullying incidents and forward it to the relevant personnel. You could likewise speak with your employer about things that could make you feel safe and secure in the workplace.
In the event that your employer disregards your claim or does nothing to resolve the issue, you could reach out to relevant organisations that will help you figure out the best course of action.