How to shut down office bullies

Bullying in the workplace is a critical situation, be it in the workplace, home or outside. One should take strict action and steps to address bullying proactively. In a workplace, it is upon the HR department and organizational system to address issues of bullying. Suppose the bullying situation leads to a “conflict”, violence and threats, or sexual harassment that concerns the worker/customer safety. In that case, one should report the issue immediately to the HR, boss, and the legal department to take immediate action. 

Recognize the Bully At Workplace

Bullies in the workplace are hard to recognize. The usual signs of bullying like yelling, threats, belittlement and humiliation are easy to see. But when the bullying situation takes the victims to be tormented, the slow destroying treatment becomes impossible to identify. On top of that, the exemplary skills of the bullies can also protect them. Though the toxic behaviour and attitude are harmful, when the same person looks good on paper because of their skills-based successes, the managers in an office often overlook the bad bullying attitude or even praise them as superb performers. Employers should look beyond the obvious signs of bullying and not cover them with the excellent skill set of the bullies.

Office Bullying

Bullying at Office


Establish Workplace Civility

Make a strict policy for all employees to maintain workplace civility. It is the task of the manager to teach performance expectations to their employees and make them show professionalism at work. The leaders of the organization should put clear instructions on paper, highlighting what’s right and what’s bad for the workplace. 

Provide Training

Training the employees on bullying empowers them to create a productive and positive workplace environment. The training should include guide and ways how to shut down bullying by focusing on their skills, including assertiveness, saying “no” when needed, and preempting intimidating requests and making decisions.

Address Office Bullying

Employees should immediately address bullying when it happens. It is essential to gather facts and details ready for use and avoid any use of absolutes, which will make the bully more opportunities to display model behavior.

Develop a Reaction Strategy for Bullies

Prepare something in your mind in advance to tackle and say to the bullies. One can never make the bully and ‘talented terrors’ of the office understand or change them. As such, it is essential to talk one on one with them and say what you want to in a clear and precise tone. You can only enforce the consequences and offer them choices.  This conversation can have four crucial steps:

  • Indulge in a candid context
  • Describe the objective and the specific issue of the conversation
  • Eliminate the status quo politely
  • Calmly offer a change choice in a specified time limit.

Bullying harms the morale and productivity of people in an organization. As such, it is essential to tackle the issue and identify them first hand to the leaders. Never wait for bullying to turn into a problem in the office before you address it.  Start identifying them already!

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Anna Verasai
Anna Verasai
Anna Versai is a Team Writer at The HR Digest; she covers topics related to Recruitment, Workplace Culture, Interview Tips, Employee Benefits, HR News and HR Leadership. She also writes for Technowize, providing her views on the Upcoming Technology, Product Reviews, and the latest apps and softwares.

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