Bullying can be a real problem for adults in the workforce and may refer to many different types of negative behaviours. Bullying is defined as verbal comments or acts that could mentally or physically hurt or isolate a person. Typically, bullying is a pattern of behaviour that aims to intimidate, offend, degrade or humiliate a particular person or group of people. This can include, but is not limited to:
- Spreading malicious rumors about someone
- Socially isolating someone
- Belittling a person’s opinions
- Deliberately impeding or undermining a person’s work
- Setting a person up to fail with impossible deadlines or tasks
The Differences Between Bullying and Harassment
Bullying and harassment are different in many ways. Unlike harassment, bullying is typically repeated and includes intent. Also, bullying is not necessarily illegal or done to a protected category of individual.
We have addressed workplace harassment and how to recognize it in this blog post.
How to Address Workplace Bullying
The best method for addressing workplace bullying is to first clearly communicate to the perpetrator or your supervisor that the behaviour is not acceptable, and ask that the behaviour stop. If needed, have a union member with you to make you feel more comfortable during this confrontation. Review your workplace’s policies on bullying for assistance with the appropriate steps to take.
Keep a factual journal of bullying events, including the date, time and details of the bullying behaviours, the name of any witnesses, the outcomes of the events and copies of any messages or emails received from the perpetrator. This can be referenced to later as proof of a pattern of malicious behaviour. Under no circumstance should you retaliate against the perpetrator.
Read more about workplace bullying here.