Workplace bullying is more common and severe than most professionals think. Too often is this behavior tolerated as the standard of adult leadership – AKA “Tough love.”

The fact of the matter is that direct or passive aggression impedes productivity and workplace stability making both, in any form, unwelcomed in any business setting.

Identifying workplace bullying

The best way to fix this negative behavior is to recognize the bullying before it gets out of hand. Not only can it put a halt to serious bullying but familiarizing yourself with less obvious detrimental actions can make you more adept at correcting these behaviors before they affect the company’s culture and turnover rate. Watch for any of these signs of bullying in the office to help eliminate potential pitfalls.

  • Aggression – Either yelling or pounding a fist against a desk are unnecessary behaviors in a professional environment. Don’t ignore these actions as they could lead to threats to your career or even violence.
  • Passive aggression – From subtle comments to manipulative mind-games, passive aggression is never a productive form of communication.
  • Belittling an employee or their accomplishments – All employees should be treated with respect, anything less is beneath the standards that should be upheld in an office setting.
  • Overly challenging or changing expectations – Managers may use their power to make it difficult for an employee to succeed by making it exceedingly difficult to be or appear productive. This power play should not be tolerated.
  • Talking behind someone’s back – Whether it’s a manager or a co-worker, a small comment or a major rumor, these toxic maneuvers can separate teams and rapidly reduce employee satisfaction.
  • Dishonesty – This can come in the form of a misleading comment or a flat-out lie. When dishonesty is allowed to creep into a workplace, it will create a significant amount of unrest among your employees.
  • Threats – It is not rational behavior or productive for a manager to threaten an employee’s job. Better steps should be taken to improve an employee’s performance.
  • Isolation – If an employee is disliked for whatever reason, other co-workers or managers may try to isolate them from the rest of the team, which will inevitably lead to a drop in productivity through less cooperation or the resignation of this soon-to-be disgruntled employee.
  • Unnecessary competition or comparisons – Creating a competitive company culture where employees are constantly being compared to one another is extremely volatile. Employees won’t bond and may even try to sabotage each other’s productivity to stay ahead.

What you can do to stop bullying in the office

Addressing workplace bullying is a process. There are steps you must take before you are able to truly remediate the situation. After you have identified the issue and who it affects, ask yourself if there is anything you are doing to encourage this behavior. If it isn’t just a quick fix of your own actions, then you will need to focus on the bully’s actions.

  • Thoroughly document the incidents of bullying. Keep a running file of who the bully is, who is involved, what specifically is happening and when and where these events occur.
  • If the bullying is not physical, then confront the bully on their behavior, explain how it is detrimental to the entire company and demand these actions stop.
  • If this does not work, or you do not feel safe confronting the perpetrator of these acts, seek the guidance of a manager or your HR department. They should be able to take control of the situation and bring these negative behaviors to an end.
  • If, for whatever reason, the bullying persists, the last step is to start generating a back-up plan. A toxic work environment can be mentally debilitating, so finding other Atlanta accounting jobs or Savannah file clerk positions will be your best option.

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