According to a recent survey, carried out by YouGov, almost 29% of people are bullied at work, causing 36% of victims to quit their role, whilst 46% of victims said it ‘adversely’ affected their performance at work
This is an edited version of an article which originally appeared on Business Advice
So, if you can’t run and tell the teacher anymore – how can grown adults cope with bullying in the workplace?
Never laugh or smile at behaviour you don’t find funny
It’s a natural reaction to often laugh off an insulting remark as it’s an instinctive reflex to water down an insulting comment, especially when you’re in work and expected to act in a professional manner. While this may be an easy way to mask how such a comment affects you, what it subconsciously does is make this type of behaviour acceptable.
A more effective way to tackle abusive treatment at work is to stay calm and have a very light conversation with the person in question using softer, less accusatory words like, “I’m confused about why you said this to me in that way.”
Hopefully, what this will do is allow them to know that you are sensitive to certain things and give them an opportunity to rectify their behaviour.
Keep an account of the way you’re being treated
Keep records of all situations that make you unhappy because, if they lead to a disciplinary case later, you’ll be expected to have collated evidence to prove what has happened – although, if you choose to do this, it’s recommended that you keep this information private.
Occasionally, as work becomes more pressurised, we can feel like we are being targeted in a malicious way but it’s not uncommon in the corporate world for people to fly off the handle now and then, but it’s important, if the issue persists, to flag it.
Remember it’s not personal…
It’s difficult while you are enduring such behaviour not to feel like it is an attack against your character but, in reality, it is a reflection of the bully and their corrupted personality.
It is best to try and speak to the bully unofficially, meaning a one-to-one meeting, or to ask for a meeting where your concerns can be recorded; then, if things are not resolved, make an official complaint. Understand, though, that this final step is where things will never be the same between you and them again.
If you are an employer who fears you run a toxic environment it’s important to recognise that what you are worried about is, in fact, abuse. Conducting an anonymous survey to get an understanding of your overall employee wellbeing in the office would be a productive step in the right direction.