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Recognising the signs of workplace bullying.

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Workplace bullying can start as something small and innocuous. It can then grow to become something very real which affects how you feel and act. It can passed unchecked until someone recognises it and takes action to eliminate it.

What are some of the signs of bullying at work?

  • Harassment

  • Intimidation

  • Exclusion

  • Overbearing management

  • Non existent or poor management

  • Personality clash

 Where one or more of these signs are present in the workplace there is a strong possibility of workplace bullying arising.

Obvious bullying behaviour signs

If you are experiencing any of the following, you should take action immediately.

  • Shouting or swearing constantly

  • Being humiliated in front of others

  • Constantly criticism, petty fault finding

  • Regularly undervaluing a workers effort

  • Undermining authority

  • Being excluded, victimised, regularly the subject of the workplace joke

  • Receiving tasks designed to thwart your efforts, working to impossible deadlines.


How do you feel?

How you feel can often be a good indicator of undue pressure in the workplace.

You may be the victim of bullying if you experience some of the following :

  • Work feels different from what you would normally experience

  • Your work is the subject of constant unwarranted criticism, usually from one individual

  • You feel under close scrutiny

  • Your tasks are being randomly altered

  • You feel isolated

  • You believe you are the subject of office jokes, either verbal or by email

  • You begin to question everything you do

  • Your work output is beginning to slow down due to the fear of making a mistake which will bring on the bullying behaviour.


What action should I take?

Your employer is obliged to have a bullying in the workplace policy in place.

This should lay down the procedures to be followed.

There should be an agreed informal procedure for addressing bullying in the workplace at an early stage, in order to eliminate it and prevent it escalating.

It is recommended, in the first instance, that an employee who believes they are being bullied, should explain to the perpetrator that the behaviour in question is unacceptable.

If you feel it would be difficult to approach the person whose behaviour is unacceptable, then, there should be a designated contact person, with whom you can discuss in a confidential setting, how best to communicate with the perpetrator.

If the informal approach does not work, or is not suitable, then your next step is to follow the formal procedures laid down by your employer in the bullying in the workplace policy.

If there is no such policy or procedure in place, you should contact us for specific advice on how best to protect and enforce your employment rights.

What should I do next?

Please feel free to contact us using the orange Yes! Tell Me More button below.  

Our experienced expert has a degree in social science, is a former social worker and has over thirty seven  years experience in the area of employment law.


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