October is National Bullying Prevention Month.
Workplace bullying is more prevalent than you might think. Office bullying occurs when a fellow employee or boss targets and harasses a person for reasons unrelated to work. Nearly 20 percent of workers have experienced workplace bullying firsthand. An additional 15 percent of workers have also witnessed bullying in the workplace. Office bullying can lead to numerous negative consequences for employees such as low productivity, anxiety, high blood pressure, insomnia, and stress.
Recognize the Signs and Symptoms
The first step to preventing workplace bullying is becoming familiar with the signs and symptoms.
- Workplace bullies may intimidate or embarrass their victims in numerous ways.
- They may use verbal abuse, relentless pranks, unwarranted criticism, or even purposefully exclude and ignore a person.
- Workplace bullying can lead to many symptoms including feeling anxious about coming in to work or constantly becoming sick the night before you start your workweek.
- A bullied employee may also experience chronic stress, hyper-vigilance symptoms at work, and lack of concentration.
Find Solutions and Begin the Healing
If you or someone you know is being bullied by a coworker go to your boss or the human resources department. You may be reluctant to ask for help, but an intervention is necessary for good health and a peaceful office. If your boss is the bully consider expressing your concerns with someone in the human resources department. Once you’ve voiced your concerns it’s time to begin the healing. It’s not uncommon for you to experience post-traumatic stress after long episodes of bullying. If you are experiencing prolonged, intense stress due to bullying, consider seeking professional help.
The best way to prevent workplace bullying is to have proper policies in place. Check in with your Human Resources department. Make sure policies are enforced through the company. They can cover the correct workplace procedures and how to deal and report workplace bullying. Ask them to conduct a training so all employees know the definition of bullying and the consequences of bullying.