Behind Bullying and Harassment

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Any unwanted behaviours that can intimidate or offend someone, done in whatever way, are very erroneous and totally degrading; such are bullying and harassment. This can be very true especially in the workplace where unison between the employers and his staffs, even among the employees is vitally significant to promote and fortify better labour force.

Comparison and Definition

In the workplace, harassment alone is define as unwanted conduct that violates people’s dignity or creates an intimidating, hostile … environment, which can be always physical with often-aggressive vocabulary. Bullying on the other hand is a repeated, deliberate behaviour with the intent of hurting someone, which is almost psychological and shown through untrue criticisms. Harassment is illegal hence; the victim can appeal for justice while bullying is not thus targets cannot unless policies are implemented (www.jdtunbound.com). Yet when defined together it is anything that can make someone feels intimidated, mortified or insulted. It may be obvious and repetitive or just secluded and might happen through phone or email and even face-to-face, in an apparent way or in a subtle manner.

Examples of Bullying and Harassment in the workplace are the following:

  • Spreading nasty rumours
  • Unfair treatment
  • Regularly undermining a competent worker through constant criticism
  • Exclusion or victimization
  • Denying someone’s promotion opportunities
  • Excessive monitoring

Harassment also comes in many ways such as the following (Wikipedia). Moreover, listed below are tips you and all other victims can do in order to fight and eventually stop the aggravation:

Examples of Bullying and Harassment: Psychological Harassment

May take the form of verbal comments, intimidation or aggressiveness that can lower a person’s self-esteem and is often difficult to tract unless the victim reports it. If you are facing this kind of pestering, it might be better to report it to someone you can trust; probably an adult. Remember that it’s no use hiding or just letting the irritation or maltreatment pass away, it’s your right to avoid distress specially from anyone so be strong and confident enough to solve it.

Examples of Bullying and Harassment: Sexual Harassment

Any unwanted or undesirable words, actions or behaviours connected to sex that make the target uncomfortable is sexual harassment. This is most common in the workplace. It may also be gender or sexual orientation harassment where children and homosexual is the most common victim. The most effective way of combating it is to report the wrong behaviour.

Examples of Bullying and Harassment: Religious Harassment

Verbal, physical or psychological harassment that is due to an individual’s practice of a specific religion which can happen even among family members when one choose another form of worship. It also includes forced conversions. Remember, it is your right, and no one can dictate you, to choose what religion you want to be with so it is better to patiently explain it to him or her and be enduring.

Examples of Bullying and Harassment: Racial Harassment

This is due to race or ethnicity where victims are harassed to make them feel degraded because of their race. Likewise, you can report the aggravation.

Examples of Bullying and Harassment: Police Harassment

Unfair treatment made by those in the authority especially by the police. You can state it to those agencies who handled the officer.

The impact of bullying and harassment to an individual, especially on the workplace can be devastating. According to Dr. Heinz Lymann, a Swedish researcher who worked with victims of workplace mobbing, chances of healing is reduced if the doer of bullying or harassment get unpunished and the target is not properly supported. He further added that chances of healing are reduced if “the target felt that his or her safety was in question.”

On the other side, Sandy Hershcovis of University of Manitoba and Julian Barling of Queens University founded out that those bullied (workplace bullying) got more stressed, angry and anxious, and are less likely dedicated to their job and more likely to quit compared to those victims of (sexual) harassment. This is because harassment can be legally handled because it is illegal while bullying cannot be like that easily. Victims also had lower over-all sense of well-being. People are not always strong enough to make a complain if the harasser is their own manager or senior member of staff. Thus, they will just simply resign (www.jdtunbound.com). Most of all, it can affect their daily performances on their job and can even still affect them afterwards when having a new one.

Handling Bullying and Harassment in the Workplace

It is not always easy when you are being bullied or harassed, but you can absolutely make necessary actions:

  • When employees can solve the problem informally, they should talk to their manager, HR department or trade union representative.
  • If this will not work, they can now make a formal complaint and take legal action.
  • Record all the incident that happened

It is also the employer’s responsibility and liability in prevent bullying and harassment. Creating policies that can also strengthen the bond between the staffs can help prevent problems at the first place.

Learn more on what is harassment?

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