When I was growing up, one of my closest friends was constantly being bullied. They teased him about his looks, his clothes, and the way he talked. I was paralyzed with fear watching the events unfold. Several minutes later, I soon became the next target of these bullies.
As we all know, bullying comes in several forms. One of the most common forms of bullying that is starting to see an increase is ‘workplace bullying’ or ‘workplace harassment’. Crystal Raypole, from Healthline, wrote a great article called ‘How to Identify and Manage Workplace Bullying’.
Raypole identifies workplace bullying behaviors as being ‘verbal, intimidating, related to work performance, retaliatory, and/or institutional’. Bullying in the workplace has detrimental effects, not only on the employees being bullied, but also employees witnessing the act and/or customers seeing the act in a public setting.
Bullying also has severe consequences on the existing business itself, including high staff turnover, potential lawsuits, damaged public reputation, investigations by governing bodies, poor staff morale, and deceased sales & revenue.
According to Raypole, workplace bullying can cause severe psychological and /or mental health effects on the employee and employees. This includes poor sleep quality, high blood pressure, anxiety, depression, and many other issues. If this persists over time, the employee may suffer long term health effects that may put a strain on our healthcare system.
Raypole suggests that bullying occurs in workplace environments that have ‘poor communication and behavior, stressful or constantly changing work environment, and/or a consistent fear of loss of employment’.
In concluding her article, Raypol suggests several things to do if bullying occurs. She suggests to document the bullying, report the bullying to a supervisor, and/or seek legal advice. She also suggests that if you find nothing is still being resolved, contact your local governing body that deals with workplace harassment (e.g., Alberta Human Right Commission, etc.)
The sooner we stop workplace bullying, the less likely it will happen again to someone else.
If you feel you are being bullied and it is causing you emotional distress, please contact myself or one of our therapists for emotional support.
“How to Identify and Manage Workplace Bullying” by Crystal Raypole
Alberta Employment Standards
Alberta Workplace Harassment and Violence:
Alberta Human Rights Commission: