What is Bullying (workplace bullying)?

Workplace bullying is a word used to describe recurrent, physically harmful mistreatment of one or more people at work by one or more perpetrators.

Workplace bullying refers to the persistent mistreatment, harassment, or abusive behavior directed towards an individual or a group of individuals within a workplace setting. It involves repeated and unwelcome actions that cause distress, create a hostile work environment, and undermine the targeted individuals' well-being and professional performance.

Key characteristics and examples of workplace bullying include:

1. Persistent and targeted mistreatment: Workplace bullying is characterized by repeated and ongoing mistreatment. It can involve actions such as verbal abuse, insults, humiliation, belittling, intimidation, or threats directed at an individual or a group.

2. Power imbalance: Bullying often occurs in a context where there is an imbalance of power or perceived power, with the perpetrator exerting control or authority over the targeted individual(s). The bully may be a supervisor, manager, coworker, or someone in a position of influence.

3. Impact on the individual: Workplace bullying has a detrimental impact on the targeted individuals' physical and mental health, job satisfaction, and overall well-being. It can lead to stress, anxiety, depression, decreased productivity, absenteeism, and a negative work environment.

4. Different forms of bullying: Bullying can take various forms, including verbal abuse, spreading rumors or gossip, social exclusion, undermining work, sabotage, excessive or unjust criticism, withholding information, micromanagement, or setting unrealistic expectations.

5. Hostile work environment: Workplace bullying creates a hostile work environment where the targeted individuals feel threatened, anxious, and unable to perform their jobs effectively. It can erode trust, collaboration, and teamwork among employees and have a broader negative impact on the overall organizational culture.


6. Legal and policy implications: In many jurisdictions, workplace bullying is considered a serious issue, and legal frameworks or organizational policies are in place to address and prevent such behavior. These policies may provide avenues for reporting, investigation, and consequences for individuals engaged in bullying behaviors.

Preventing and addressing workplace bullying requires a collective effort from both employees and organizations. Strategies to combat workplace bullying include:

- Promoting a respectful and inclusive organizational culture through policies, training, and communication.

- Encouraging bystander intervention and fostering a supportive work environment where employees feel empowered to report bullying incidents.

- Establishing clear procedures and channels for reporting and addressing workplace bullying, ensuring confidentiality and protection against retaliation.

- Conduct investigations into reported incidents to gather evidence, identify the root causes, and take appropriate disciplinary or corrective actions.

- Providing support and resources to individuals who have experienced bullying, such as counseling, coaching, or access to employee assistance programs.

By addressing workplace bullying, organizations can create a healthier and more productive work environment where employees can thrive, collaborate, and contribute effectively to the organization's success. To enhance the quality of your work environment better, read up more about work-life balance