Beat bullying in the workplace

Bullying is a common occurrence in the workplace and can lead to mental health concerns, stress, and low productivity at work.  It’s important to take appropriate steps to handle bullying at work to support your well-being.

What is bullying.

Workplace bullying is verbal, physical, social or psychological abuse by your employer (or manager), another person or group of people at work and can include; physical threats, teasing, being left out, treated with disrespect, accusing you of things you haven’t done or gets you to do tasks which have nothing to do with your job description.

Workplace bullying can happen in any type of workplace, from offices to shops, cafes, restaurants, workshops, community groups and government organisations.

If you are experiencing bullying here are some suggestions to manage the situation.

1. Alert a supervisor/manager/HR: Bullying is not okay and no one should have to experience bullying in the workplace so you need to tell your superior so they can take action to stop it happening. If it’s your supervisor doing the bullying perhaps you will need to take the matter higher to your boss’s supervisor.

2. Keep a record of events: (including, date, time, who, what happened, where it happened, what was your response). This can be helpful to provide and can be used as a legal record of what has happened.

3. You aren’t the problem: Most bullies try and find fault, are prejudice or racist towards the person, but whatever it is remember that you aren’t the problem it is the person’s attitude towards any of these factors and that’s what needs to be changed.

4. Tell someone that you can trust and can reveal your mind confidentially: It is common for people being bullying to have low self-esteem, you may want to be left alone and not talk to anyone. I can understand why someone being bullied feels this way, but it is really important to share what’s happening to you with someone, like a trusted friend, relative or a professional who can be supportive.

5. Look after yourself: Being bullied can be very stressful, so it is important to look after yourself by making sure you are having enough sleep, eating well and doing regular exercise. Making sure you do these things will ensure your body is healthy which will help you manage the stress.

6. Get professional help: Bullying if its not dealt with can do a lot of harm to people’s psychological wellbeing.  This is why it is important to get support from a professional to help you work through the challenging time.

7. Know your rights: Find out about your workplace’s policy on bullying and making a complaint. Know your rights to and that you can lodge a formal complaint with the Australian Human Rights Commission or the Commonwealth FairWork Ombudsman.


Written by:

Kimberley Aguet

Virtual Psychologist  – Counsellor

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