October 18–24, 2015 is Freedom From Workplace Bullies Week
, created by the Workplace Bullying Institute to “break through the shame and silence surrounding bullying.”
It’s designed for you to recognize the issue of workplace bullying and to promote an awareness or prevention event at work. This could be anything from a gathering of a few staff members with common goals to the sharing of resources to a companywide training, conference, or program.
Defining workplace bullying
Also known as psychological harassment, workplace bulling involves a number of sensitive, complicated, and controversial factors. It’s difficult to even define in many jurisdictions unless the behavior is part of other legislatively addressed concerns such as harassment, discrimination, or intimidation.
CPI defines workplace bullying as persistent and ongoing acts of disrespect directed toward an individual or group. Some examples include ongoing behaviors such as:
- Taking credit for someone else’s work.
- Repeatedly belittling a coworker.
- Regularly withholding essential information from a coworker.
- Repeatedly and intentionally failing to invite someone to meetings that are essential to their job.
- Using deliberate and disrespectful body language or invading personal space.
Addressing workplace bullying
Addressing bullying at work involves constructively confronting the bullying when you see it. Doing so needs to be supported by your organization’s policies and procedures. Stopping it takes a commitment from all employees at all levels. To learn more and get tips on how to stop bulling at work, read How Bullying Impacts the Risk of Violence in Your Enterprise
I encourage you to visit our Workplace Bullying Resources and References
page for a wealth of information on raising awareness about workplace bullying.
Additionally, if you’re looking for practices and protocols to follow when preventing and responding to workplace bullying/psychological harassment, I suggest our Workplace Bullying Prevention and Response Policies and Procedures Template
. It provides suggested definitions of bullying and related behaviors based on CPI’s research and experience in providing worldwide training for managing problematic workplace behavior. The template also offers guidance on complaint investigation and possible mediation and corrective actions, it addresses the possibility of false allegations of bullying, and it includes a comprehensive list of international references, resources, and relevant legislation.
To effectively reduce and address bullying in your workplace, consider scheduling a Workplace Bullying Topic Module
. The module builds on the knowledge and skills taught in the Prepare Training®
Foundation Course. It then applies these concepts to workplace bullying and provides a comprehensive and sensitive treatment of the subject.
Stopping bullying starts with you!
We are all responsible for creating and maintaining a respectful, service-oriented, and physically and emotionally safe workplace. Bullying can grow and thrive within an organizational culture that tolerates it. So if you see it, say something about it, and remember that preventing and stopping it starts with you!
Posted October 2014. Updated September 2015.