Bullying in the workplace

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It can be quite a shock to experience bullying at work. I mean, after all, we are all adults right? Well, maybe in age, but certainly not in behaviour!

Bullying at the workplace can include things like:

  • Demeaning language (name calling, about you, your work  or your family)
  • Putting down your work constantly
  • Giving you too much work and expecting you to do it straight away
  • Making you work back late but not others
  • Messing around with your personal items (not as a simple joke)
  • Talking about you negatively to others
  • Undermining your authority
  • Sexual harassment
  • Giving you tasks that don’t relate to your work
  • Excluding you from team activities
  • Threatened or actual physical harm

If you feel harassed or intimidated by people in your workplace you may be experiencing bullying. There are laws to prevent this behaviour and it is in your best interest to take action as soon as possible. The psychologists at Reconnect Psychology can help you with the emotional turmoil this behaviour has caused, and will support you through any action you may wish to take.


What can you do?

Just like with bullying and children, adults also need to learn how to stand up for themselves in a safe and assertive manner. Not everyone is bullied, so what is it that you are doing that allows the bully to continue their behaviour? We can help you figure that out, and more importantly help you to stop the behaviour.

You have a right to feel safe at work. And your employer has an obligation to ensure that this is the case. Unfortunately sometimes it is your employer who is doing the bullying.

You need to keep a record of all incidents, talk to someone about this, another employee, the HR department, union, or someone outside the organisation if you feel unsafe. In some instances the police may become involved (physical or sexual assault or threats). The worst thing to do is nothing!

Bullying and harassment in the workplace can lead you to feel anxious, depressed, angry and resentful. It can have a huge impact on your work performance and home life. It can lead to you losing your job, and has led some people to take the drastic step of suicide. Bullying at work is not to be taken lightly or ignored. It can impact your whole life.

For more information on what you can do, your legal rights and who you can report bullying to go to  http://www.humanrights.gov.au/workplace-bullying-violence-harassment-and-bullying-fact-sheet