Signs of Workplace Bullying

Bullying doesn’t only occur on the playground. Unfortunately, workplaces can have bullies, too. While workplaces should foster a safe environment for employees, research has shown that 30% of adult Americans are bullied at work. Workplace bullying is defined as repeated, health-harming mistreatment of one or more persons (the targets) by one or more perpetrators. It includes abusive conduct and/or behaviors that are threatening, intimidating, or humiliating and can impact one’s workplace performance.

Instances of bullying in the workplace can be subtle and therefore can go unnoticed, so it is important to understand the differences between the types of workplace bullying and be able to identify them should they occur, as the consequences can have negative impacts on the organization and the overall wellbeing of its employees. By identifying the signs of workplace bullying, organizations can implement a system for monitoring and preventing instances from occurring.

One of the most common types of workplace bullying is verbal, which includes mockery, humiliation, jokes or gossip. Another example of workplace bullying is intimidation, such as threats, social exclusion or invasions of privacy. Workplace bullying can also occur in relation to work performance, like being given unattainable deadlines or unclear directions, excessive performance monitoring, and overly harsh or unjust criticism. While anyone can be the perpetrator or victim of workplace bullying, the Workplace Bullying Institute’s 2021 survey indicates bosses are the majority (61%) of workplace bullies. Additionally, bullying doesn't just occur in the physical workplace. It can also happen to remote workers. According to research, workplace bullying for remote employees has increased to over 43.2%.

Since bullying at work is prevalent, it is essential to know the proper ways to monitor and report these situations. There are currently no workplace bullying laws deeming it to be illegal and very few states have anti-workplace bullying statutes in place. However, there are productive ways to combat a workplace bully, whether you are a victim or witness of workplace bullying, in order to further protect and support yourself and your colleagues without fear of retaliation.

While it is not illegal, workplace bullying is unacceptable and fosters a toxic workplace culture. Work Shield is dedicated to protecting people and their organizations, while also preserving workplace culture. As an unbiased third-party, Work Shield’s reporting system is the only comprehensive solution that helps employees safely report instances of misconduct, including bullying, harassment and discrimination in the workplace. Through the safe reporting platform, Work Shield is enabling a safe space for employees to report instances without fear and giving employers the opportunity to protect their workplace culture, build trust with employees and effectively mitigate risk. For more information on Work Shield’s solutions to combating workplace bullying and more, visit https://workshield.com/.


About Jared Pope

Jared is Founder and CEO of Work Shield, the only start-to-finish workplace harassment and discrimination reporting, investigation and resolution solution that protects employees, employers and cultures at the same time. Jared practiced law and ran a practice focused on human resources, ERISA, benefits and employment matters for over 15 years and is a knowledgeable resource on workplace culture and harassment and discrimination issues.

Connect with him on LinkedIn.

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