A new rumour started about Meenakshi, in the organisation that she was dating her immediate boss, Pawan and his colleagues regularly made fun of him because he was a little introvert and did not talk much with anyone. Avantika’s boss kept insulting her in front of all the staff members and gave her deadlines that none of the team members got, just because she dared to ask a question in a meeting.
Are you also a Meenakshi, Pawan or an Avantika in your organization??
If you are, then this article is especially for you and for people going through WORKPLACE BULLYING.
Yes, harassment has other names, though workplace bullying is not that serious as harassment but it can surely take the same color and pace if not stopped at the right time, and who can stop it? Its only you or your HR department.
What is workplace bullying? As per Wikipedia it is the tendency of individuals or groups to use persistent aggressive or unreasonable behavior against a co-worker or subordinate.
Workplace bullying can harm you in many ways and can have negative impact on your mental and physical health as well. When workplace bullying, goes wrong it becomes harassment, so make sure you stop it before it creates a problem for you and your health.
Let me give you some real life example of Workplace bullying:
- I was heading the HR department and one of the division of HR department was Employee relations department, which is fortunately (or may be unfortunately) an all ladies department, no it was not planned that way, it was a mere coincidence. In this division both the Manager and the Assistant Manager were bullying one of the Executives. All the work was done by the Executive and with some minor changes the same was passed on to me, she was asked to bring cold drinks, and other eatables from canteen for both of them, she was given mostly night duties, she used to create some very attractive ppts and specially the AM used to paste her name on them. This was going on since the past 2 years and this executive looked very insecure. When I joined I started talking to each one of them individually just to take their opinion on the department. I was told by my assistant about this bullying…and we started following it up and because the things had not been reported to me directly, I asked my assistant to help the executive fight it out by saying NO for certain things. After much encouragement finally the executive started saying ‘No’ by giving some or the other reason. Initially they both got shocked but slowly they understood.
- Another incident happened with a New Joinee who was very cheerful, in the recruitment department, as she was a fresher and everyone else in the department was well trained and experienced. The girl did not know how to take an interview, so was on training under one of the Sr. Executive. The senior executive started making fun of her, the way she spoke over the phone while interviewing, the way she wore clothes, even for her hairstyle and what not. After 15 days I saw a change in her – she was not as cheerful as she looked initially. I met her in the canteen and asked for her feedback on the training, she just said “I don’t think I’m worth this job Ma’am” and next 15 days she took 4 leaves as she fell sick.
These are just two of them, but believe me I can write a whole book on this topic with just real life examples that I came across.
I really do not understand what makes people happy to bully or get bullied, yes the fault is of both of them, unless you won’t utter a word against bullying, people will keep on doing it. And not complaining is not the solution, sometimes it can backfire also. So the best way is to fight for your self respect and respond in a professional manner.
Prevention and Cure…
# Take up all your courage and say a polite no when you think you are being bullied. Generally bullying starts with making fun and jokes on you, so take them lightly till it does not hurt, if it does, please say no in front of all.
# Talk it out with the one who is bullying you in private, tell him/her that you did not like the insult or joke. Again be professional and very polite. With aggression things can take a different shape altogether.
# Share it with one of your colleagues or team member you trust and someone who can share it with your seniors or the HR department. Believe me it can work if the team member is worth trusting.
# Intervention by seniors or if you are being bullied by the senior then the HR department can come to your rescue. While reporting it, just make sure you have evidence and proof to support your truth.
Don’t leave your job if you are being bullied; fight it out for your own self. It surely requires a lot of courage but its worth it.
Share your examples if you have come across anything like that and how did you solve it…
Let the new comers in the organizations or people facing such problems know more about this from your experiences…
Keep sharing and keep learning…