Bullying is a worldwide epidemic that has plagued our society system for decades. We often hear that most of bully cases take place in schools but the gospel truth is bully also happens in the workplace. The workplace that should be a safe environment that allows employees to be productive has been disrupted by bully as he creates a hostile work environment for all employees and drives everyone up the wall. In fact bullying in the workplace is one of the most significant challenge face by companies nowadays.
Workplace bullying may refer to the tendency of individuals or groups to use persistent aggressive behaviour against co-workers. Workplace bullying comes in a wide variety of different forms such as physical force, verbal, sexual, mental or emotional depending on circumstance. The bully’s behaviour also impose a big threat on the company’s productivity. Bullying at workplace occurs because of the negative traits of the bully and the solution to overcome it are the person who is being bullied should stand for himself and the actions taken by the top management in order to solve bully.
Firstly, bullying at workplace occurs because of the negative traits possess by the bully. This is because the bully perpetrator is jealous of his victim’s performance at the workplace, so he takes out his frustration and jealousy on his victim. One of the reasons is because he does not want his victim to surpass his performance as he perceives this as a threat that will put his position at stake. Instead of working in a healthy competition, the bully makes his victim feels inferior by saying inappropriate words to the victim which will lead the victim to have low self-esteem. According to King (n. d.), jealous of the victim’s achievement at work is the reason of why bullies pick their victim.
Kane (n. d.), also supported this in her article by saying that employees who perform well and are loved by the employers are often being targeted by the bullies. This is simply because the bully does not wants his victim to get all the highlights and attention. Besides that, the bully bullies because he wants to hide his inadequacy in doing his work. He fears that if other workers figure out about his incompetency, they will look down on him. In order to cover his blemish, he does not own up to his mistakes and blame others or making other workers flaws look terrible just because he does not want to ruin his credibility, he overloads his victim with the works that he is incapable of doing and get the credit for it. According to Oliver (2013), being called in front of the public to own up to their behaviour is the bully’s biggest fear as hiding inadequacy is the intention of bullying. Therefore, the factors that lead to bully are mainly because the bully is jealous and wants to hide his inadequacy in doing his work.
Hence, the step that can be taken in order to overcome workplace bullying is the victim should stand up for himself. A victim of bully should have enough courage to go and confront the bully. Confronting the bully may seem like the hardest thing to do but everyone is aware that a bully is only brave when he knows that nobody will rise against him. A victim should not be a pushover and let the bully feels like he is in a comfort zone. In fact, the victim should let the bully knows what he has been keeping inside his heart by telling the bully how the bully’s behaviour impacted his work and he wants the bully to stop. According to McCoy (n. d.), the bully should be confronted, being explained the effects of his bullying has on the victim and being ask to stop. Through confrontation, it remarks the strong characteristics and firm decisions of the victim.
So, the bully will know that he can no longer underestimate his victim. The next logical step that can be taken by the victim is by bringing this case to the top management. If confrontation does not seem to solve the problem, then it is time to get help from the top management to deal with the bully. The victim can start by documenting things like dates, time, and details of the incident and take note if another employee witnessed the incident before lodging a report to HR department because eye witnessed will make the evidence stronger.
According to Rush (n. d.), incidents that make the victim feels agitate should be documented by creating a log of incidents that included day and time, nature of incidents and any person involved and any witnessed to what has occurred. The victim of bully should not just keep quiet and hopes for the bully perpetrator to stop because he will not stop. Not until a proper action is taken on him. “The victim of bully should voice out and get evidence to show that he or she is being bullied. Bullying issue should be reported to the company’s human resources management to be solved” (Halim, 2013 as cited in Tan, 2013). Thus, the victim should be brave to confront the bully and bring this case to the top management in order to avoid himself from being bullied.
Another solution to the problem is the actions taken by the top management. It has become the employer’s responsibility to ensure the safety of the workers at the workplace. Employer should monitor things that occur around the workplace especially regarding or the employees’ behaviour. By doing so, employer will be able to identify which of the employees that always cause problems at the workplace. If the rumours of bully start to circulate the workplace, employer should already starts an investigation to find the causes and the culprit. Employer must react quickly to resolve this bully issue if it is proven to be true. A competent employer does not just wait for the complaints files to arrive at his desk because he acknowledges that this bully thing can adversely affect the company’s name and it is not good for business.
“Bullying in the workplace” (n. d.) states that safety of both mentally and physically of the workers must be ensured by the employer and employer must react sensibly in relation to such matter. Apart from that, the top management should make sure all the employees follow the rules of the workplace. Rules are created to be obeyed and without rules, people are nothing but savages. Hence, to make everyone at the workplace abide to the rules, it is important to strengthen the law of the workplace. In order to strengthen the law, the top management can conduct a meeting with all the employees and emphasize on the rules and regulations of the workplace. So, the employees will be clearer on the do’s and don’ts at the workplace. It is also important to let the employees know their rights especially for the bully victim.
So, the employees will know how they are protected at work and where to get help when problems arise. Halim (2013, as cited in Tan, 2013) states that induction programme should be conducted to introduce the company’s rules and regulations, working culture, benefits and right for the workers. Besides that, the top management should also have a record on the disciplines performance of each of the employees and any employees’ performance who is not up to par will be having a disciplinary action taken on them.
According to Heatherfield (n. d.), to protect the company’s and employees’ interest, written disciplinary action must be taken after counselling and coaching from manager give no improvement in returns. This is simply to bring awareness to the employee about the mistake he has committed so that he will not repeat the same mistake again. Therefore, the employer need to take care of the safety of the employees and ensuring them to follow the rules to resolve bullies.
In conclusion, negative traits of the bully himself and hiding incompetency in doing work are the two main reasons of why bullying occurs at workplace. Besides that, confronting the bully and bringing the bully case to the top management are the steps that can be taken by the person who is being bullied while top management should guarantee the safety of their employees at the workplace as well as ensuring all the employees to follow the rules of the workplace. Bully is not something that can be left without any proper action being taken to prevent it because it does not only create discomfort and embarrassment but it can also harm the health of the victim. Hence, for the convenience of the employees and employer, workplace bullying must be curbed before it becomes worse and affects the development of the organization. The basic essence of working is tolerance as well as understanding among the colleagues and the employer. If both parties cooperates, then this bully issue will definitely be resolved.
Bullying in the workplace. (n. d.). Retrieved July 19, 2014, from http://www.hsa.ie/eng/Workplace_Health/Bullying_at_Work/
Kane, S. (n. d.). Who is workplace bully’s target. Retrieved July 20, 2014, from
King, M. (n. d.). Why do people bully me in the workplace?. Retrieved July 20, 2014, from http://woman.thenest.com/people-bully-workplace-9097.html McCoy, W. (n. d.). Termination for bullying in the workplace. Retrieved July 21, 2014, from http://woman.thenest.com/termination-bullying-workplace-12070.html Olivier, S. (2013). Bullying in the workplace. Retrieved July 21, 2014, from
Rush, M. (n. d.). How to protect yourself from a workplace bully. Retrieved July 21, 2014, from http://woman.thenest.com/protect-yourself-workplace-bully-8056.html Tan, K. (2013, October 22). Bullying in the workplace. The Star Online. Retrieved July 2, 2014, from www.thestar.com.my/Lifestyle/Features/2013/10/22/Bullying-in-the-workplace/