The signs of workplace bullying

Estimated read: 7 minutes 

If you feel as though you are experiencing bullying in the workplace, this can be a very devastating and distressing issue. You may be feeling very low and anxious at the thought of going to work and facing the individual or group that may be subjecting you to this. 

Key points:

  • Understanding and spot the signs of bullying including being constantly criticised, having duties and responsibility taken away without good reason
  • It is important to keep a diary of all incidents with times, dates, witnesses and what happened. This will help you enormously, especially if you decide to take this further
  • If you are feeling bullied, confide in a manager or the Human Resources department in your workplace. This might not be so easy to do if it is a small organisation or you are being harassed or bullied by a manager

 

workplace bullying
Workplace bullying can take shape or form in many different ways. You may be questioning whether what you are going through is workplace bullying and a lot of this depends on if you actually are feeling bullied or harassed by a particular individual or a group of people. Some examples of bullying in the workplace includes:
  • Feeling constantly criticised, having duties and responsibility taken away without good reason
  • When someone is shouting at you or displaying aggressive behaviour or threats
  • Experiencing being continously put down or made to feel like the butt of the jokes
  • Being persistently picked on in front of others or in private
  • Being constantly ignored, victimised and excluded regularly 
  • Spreading malicious rumours about members of staff
  • Misuse of power or position to make someone feel uncomfortable or victimised
  • Making threats about job security without any basis or substance
  • Blocking promotion or progress within the workplace

These are just a few signs of bullying and there are many more and it is dependent on the organisation or the industry too. Unfortunately, bullying can take its toll on your health and wellbeing. If you do feel that you are under duress, please do make an appointment with your GP so that you are able to get support for this. It is important to keep a diary of all incidents with times, dates, witnesses and what happened. This will help you enormously, especially if you decide to take this further. You may want to read our article on Workplace Bullying - The effects on family life.

If you are feeling bullied, confide in a manager or the Human Resources department in your workplace. This might not be so easy to do if it is a small organisation or you are being harassed or bullied by a manager. You could ask if they have a policy in place to deal with bullying and harassment at work. If you are a member of a trade union, you could get in touch with them and ask them for advice and representation. If you have house insurance, then you may be covered for legal expenses too, it’s worth checking this. HR Dept have written an article on Handling Workplace Bullying with advice if you are an employee or an employer.

Further resources

You may find it helpful to view our workplace bullying resources section for tips and advice. If you are experiencing any form of bullying, you can call our helpline on 0808 808 2222, email us at askus@familylives.org.uk or talk to us online. You might also want to take a look at our bullying forum to see how others may have coped in similar situations. You can also get some advice from ACAS on workplace bullying. 

Watch our workplace bullying webinar for advice and guidance 

This page was updated in August 2021

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