It started with a missing memo telling you the time of an important meeting had been changed, it progressed to constant criticism from a collage and now you have been given a workload that would take an army to complete. If you feel like you are being set up for failure or you wake up every morning and feel terror at the thought of another day in the office then you need to ask yourself a serious question. Are you being bullied?
Bullying is a serious allegation that could loose somebody their job so it is understandable that many people brush it off as a colleague having got out the wrong side of bed or you being extra sensitive. However, remember that bullying doesn’t have to be physical. It isn’t a case of your colleagues pinching your lunch money and flushing your head down the toilet. Just because someone isn’t shouting and being abusive it doesn’t mean you should disregard your feelings of discomfort.
As a result of the recession, we are no more job insecure than ever. We are terrified we might loose our jobs at any given moment and can often try to justify one managers bullying as a robust approach to the job.
So how do we know if we are being bullied, or if we are simply misinterpreting a colleagues actions? Well according to Acas, the employment relations service, if you answer yes to any of the below you’re being bullied.
Do you feel excluded from the office, or picked on?
Do you feel anxious, frightened of work and demotivated?
Are you being overloaded with work or set impossible deadlines?
Are you being deliberately blocked from promotion or training, or criticised constantly?
Is someone spreading rumours about you?
Do your colleagues make unfounded comments about job security?
Do you find the level of supervision that you receive at work overbearing?
Are you teased or insulted about your age, race, sex, disability, sexual orientation or religion?
Do you experience unwelcome sexual advances or the sharing or e-mailing of offensive materials?
Is someone copying your memos and e-mails that are critical of others and sending them on to others who don’t need to know?
So now that you can be sure you are experiencing bullying what is the next step? Well the first port of call is to report it. Go to someone within the organisation you feel comfortable talking too. Even if the bully is your boss try to find someone perhaps in HR and discuss your options with them.
Talk the the bullies. Sounds terrifying but some people will genuinely not realise their behaviour has been effecting you in such away. Remain calm and ask them to cease their behaviour. If you don’t feel comfortable then ask someone else to approach or send an email/memo.
Keep a diary of events and copies of relevance emails or memo’s incase you have to present evidence.
If the bullying is effecting your health then visit your GP and inform your employer.
Other useful contacts are Citizens Advice Bureau, the Acas Helpline (acas.org.uk 08457 474747) which offers advice on specific problems and can help you to explore alternatives to an Employment Tribunal or the National Bullying Helpline (0845 2255787).
Read the original article here.