Workplace bullying constitutes verbal, physical, social or psychological abuse by your employer, another person or group of people at work. Extreme forms of bullying including violence, assault or threatened assault, dangerous initiation practices and stalking are criminal offences and should be reported directly to the police.
Types of Bullying: Overt and Covert
Other more common, non-criminal forms of bullying may be more subtle, though can be devastating to a person’s job performance, confidence, physical and emotional well-being. Such behaviours might include:
- Deliberately excluding, isolating or marginalising a person from normal workplace activities
- Deliberately altering work hours or schedule for the purpose of creating difficulties
- Intruding on a person’s space by pestering, spying or tampering with their personal effects or work equipment
- Intimidating a person through verbal comment, harassment, belittling opinions or unjustified criticism
- Overloading a person with work or setting timelines that are very difficult to achieve, or constantly changing deadlines
- Setting tasks that are pointless, irrelevant to the job or unreasonably beyond a person’s ability or job scope
- Deliberately denying access to information, consultation or resources
- Intimidating behaviour aimed at making a person feel undervalued or less important
- Unfair treatment in relation to accessing workplace entitlements, such as leave or training.
Seeking the help and support of a psychologist or counsellor with experience in this field can be very helpful. Such a professional can help support you emotionally, direct you to appropriate information and advice, ensure you are accessing all available social supports and help you construct a plan for addressing the source of conflict / bullying in either an informal or official manner.