We may all have heard stories of workplace bullying and its attendant effects on the victims. The recent social media outburst against workplace bullying under the hashtag #horriblebosses has brought this previously ignored pattern to the searchlight of public opinion. Different instances of workplace bullying being posted on social media, shared by family and friends and even lawsuits are now rampant and it raises a cause for concern.

Workplace bullying is a recurrent act of threat, disrespect or maltreatment towards an individual or group’s safety, health or status in the workplace. The acts of bullying can be psychological, emotional, mental, and physical. It is also pertinent to propagate the following corrected misconceptions on workplace bullying:

Anyone can be a target of bullying- It could be a superior being bullied by a subordinate or vice versa; it could even be between co-workers.
Bullying may not always be recognized – Bullying can be covert, which is hidden or psychological bullying, or it could be Overt which it visible and recognizable.
Bullying is not only in a physical workplace – Workplace bullying is between the members of an organization. Remote or onsite, bullying can still exist.
Bullying is not banter – Banter only works with high level of trust and mutual respect among parties. If one party is uncomfortable then its definitely bullying.


LEADERS ESTABLISH ANTI – BULLYING POLICIES – Employers or management should review current policies and establish a clear code regarding interaction in the organization. It should clearly state examples of the disallowed act and
attendant disciplinary actions.
MODELLING – Organization leaders set the tone. Lead by example and encourage the behavior you seek to be implemented. Also, Management
and Business leaders should walk the talk against workplace bullying. Leaders who lead by example have the authority to demand same from their
followers/ subordinate.
TRAININGS – Arrange and attend trainings related to respectful communications in the workplace. Managers and leaders should be trained on what form bullying could be in and the effects.
ACT FAST – You are meant to be proactive in these situations, but if it skips you at the early stage, you will need to act with urgency. If prolonged it can affect the organization negatively.
TREAT WITH CARE – Address the root of the problem. Act consistently and fairly, and treat the issue with confidentiality.

SPEAK UP – It takes courage to speak up when being bullied. Communicate if someone is being disrespectful to you. You should keep records of the
bullying you encounter, refer to the appropriate person in line with the company policies.
TRAININGS – Employees should attend every training set by the organization on trainings. They should also assist in helping an employee that they
recognize to be bullied.
RESPECT – Employees should respect one another in the workplace. They should also respect the company policies relating to interaction.

Everyone at the workplace has the right to feel safe and respected. Companies should aim to create a respectful environment by defining the work culture, practicing diversity and inclusivity, be civil in hiring processes and provide a bonding experience for your workers.

We at HRLeverage advise Organizations to create a respectful workplace, it leads to increased employee engagement, work creativity, increased collaboration, customer satisfaction and more needed for the Organizations success.

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