As we’ve previously touched on, colleagues in an office won’t always get on well. Clashing personalities, personal issues and heightened tension in the office can occur once in a while; if and when it does, it’s important to keep it under control and ensure the business continues to grow and flourish with a happy and harmonious work force.

Today we’re zooming in on workplace bullying and harassment after some recent studies have revealed some staggering results.

The first study comes from printer supplier PrinterLand, which focused on general workplace bullying; this could be in the form of intimidation, humiliation, name-calling or even work-sabotage.

The study revealed that a staggering three-quarters of those polled said they’d witnessed some form of workplace bullying, and two-thirds admit they’d taken part in it themselves.  Of those who’d played a part in bullying, half said they’d gossiped about other colleagues, and a fifth said they’d partaken in name-calling.

Of those who were victimised by workplace bullying, only one-fifth said they’d reported it - and in half of these incidences, the situation improved. However, the victims who didn’t come forward about their experiences give reasoning of not wanting to make the situation worse, cause awkwardness or be viewed to be overreacting.

Bullying in the workplace can damage individuals, teams and entire companies; 16% of bullying victims had been either diagnosed with depression or signed off for a period of time due to stress.

CV-Library also carried out a study focusing on workplace diversity and found some shocking results in regards to the LGBT+ community and bullying at work. Of the 1,200 UK workers asked, 11.7% said they’d experienced homophobic bullying in the workplace, and 15.4% had witnessed such behaviour towards LGBT+ colleagues.  In the same study, over half (59%) of respondents said there isn’t, or they’re not aware of, any anti-discriminatory policies in place at their work.

How can we prevent and manage workplace bullying?

As an employer, if bullying occurs in your workplace you may not be aware of it as it may happen behind closed doors (perhaps literally, depending on your office design).

It’s important to engage and build trust with your employees through carrying out team-building exercises or social activities for example. Healthy work relationships between you and your employees and amongst employees themselves may make reporting or coming forward about bullying less uncomfortable.

If any hint of bullying or harassment does occur, be sure to keep note and keep an eye on any individuals who you suspect may be involved. If any bullying is reported to you, ensure you carry out the appropriate disciplinary action, ensuring you are fair and mature about your approach.

HR manager of PrinterLand Catherine Bannan shares advice on the subject, “You should consider whether the situation can be resolved informally, by discussing your concerns with a line manager or HR manager. It may be that other colleagues are facing the same experience. Matters can always be escalated to a formal grievance procedure.”

Founder and managing director of CV-Library, Lee Biggins also comments, “It’s vital that you create a culture where staff feel confident and safe reporting anything they experience themselves, or that they witness, when it comes to discriminatory and unacceptable behaviour at work.”

Laura Sewell

An aspiring journalist, Laura is our Content Writer.  Pop-punk gig-goer and drag queen enthusiast, Laura is working her way into the industry with a love of writing about anything and everything in tow.
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