Last week, I delivered a presentation on workplace bullying to a group of volunteers in a large retail company, in the UK. This group have volunteered to provide a listening and sign posting service for anyone within their organisation who has been subject to workplace bullying, harassment or discrimination. They have all been professionally trained to give guidance to any individual who feels they are at risk and their role is to
be proactive and to provide an informal route for an employee if they experience such a problem.
Bullying issues are, unfortunately, experienced around the world but not every organisation will make a commitment to provide this support to their staff and the commitment and motivation from this team is to be greatly admired.
Bullying in the Workplace
You may wonder why there is a need for such a team of people. Well, with many managers under pressure to achieve targets and deadline, it is inevitable that the high levels of stress they have to endure is going to affect them. Some managers under stress, may demonstrate bullying behaviour without being consciously aware of it, but that does not make it any less acceptable.
Bullying, of course, is perceived differently by everyone. What is acceptable for one person is unacceptable to another. What makes one person laugh, makes another
person cry. That which may work in one culture, does not work in another.
There are many signs of bullying behaviour that are highly visible, for instance: the person who is publically humiliated by their manager or the individual who wrongly takes the credit for someone else’s work. However, there is another more insidious form of bullying behaviour that needs to be addressed: that credit for someone is so-called ‘cyber bullying’. Continue reading