Most people believe that bullying is something that happens to kids and teens. The truth is, bullying can happen to just about anyone and is often an issue within workplaces.
While bullying can involve harassing behaviors depending on the situation, this is not always the case. However, bullying can still have a detrimental effect on a person’s mental health and inhibit their ability to remain productive. Here is what you should do when faced with workplace bullying.
Speak with the other party
You do not need to speak with the workplace bully unless you feel comfortable doing so. If so, raise the issue in a calm and rational manner to find a reasonable solution. The person mistreating you may not intend harm and may be willing to alter their behavior to make amends.
Contact the human resources department
In the event the behavior does not stop, or you do not feel comfortable confronting the person on your own, consult your workplace’s human resources department. They should have rules and guidelines in place to deal with employee conflicts. If your place of work does not have a formal human resources department, you can report the issue to the manager.
Be forthcoming during the investigation
If you must provide information regarding unwanted behaviors, be as honest and upfront as possible. Provide dates and times when interactions took place, as well as what occurred. The more information you provide, the easier it will be for your place of work to determine what is happening and how to proceed.
It is often difficult to distinguish bullying from genuine harassment in the workplace. If you are not satisfied with the response from your place of business, consider consulting with an attorney. At the very least, an employment attorney can clarify whether the behavior you are experiencing is legal or illegal, which helps you determine the next steps.