Intimidation at work has become part of life in a number of workplaces. What is really shocking is the fact that the vice can even continue even after you have left your job. According to world statistics, around 35 percent of the workforce has fallen victims of this vice and the number is increasing each and every single day. The worst part is that the management and supervisors often contribute a lot to the problem. It is because of this reason that office intimidation and bullying has become a hot topic over the last few years. Many experts are already anticipating an ugly scenario in the workplace environment if the problem is not dealt with accordingly.
What is workplace intimidation?
Intimidation at work refers to causing another employee to feel afraid or inadequate. This may be through verbal threats, sexual harassment, unjust criticism, and physical violence among others. Ideally, workplace intimidation can range from humiliation and derogatory comments to physical abuse. This can impact hugely on the employee. It can erode the confidence of the victim and affect how he or she performs in the work place.
This is one of the most common forms of intimidation at work. Normally, it involves threatening others or making inappropriate remarks about other workers. Ideally, workplace bullies are always jealous of their colleague’s achievements, and often use all those dirty tricks to intimidate and make their victims feel inferior. Even if the employee is not subjected to some kind of physical harm, verbal abuse alone can impact significantly. It will make the victim feel extremely uncomfortable and he or she will not be productive at work.
This consists of unpleasant and inappropriate sexual comments or physical touching of another employee in a sexual manner. When the victim feels extremely helpless, it can result in depression.
The people who often intimidate others in the workplace can also resort sabotage of the accomplishments and equipment of other employees. Normally, they delete very crucial computer documents, spread false information about another worker, and steal supplies. When such things go on without being noticed by the management, the victim is often punished for the crime he or she did not commit.
Physical harm in workplace is not very common. However, when this form of workplace intimidation happens, it can be very devastating. This is because an employee that is hit frequently while at work can experience some kind of physical injuries and pain. Additionally, the expectation of future attacks can impact massively on the victim’s productivity. He or she will also hate his or her job.
How to Prevent Bullying and Intimidation at Work
If at one time you feel harassed or intimidated while at work, there are several steps that you can take. The first thing obviously will be to confront the bully and make it clear to him or her that his or her actions are offensive and will be reported if they continue. Be kind and do not be rude to these culprits. If you confront them rudely it can make things even worse for you. Talking to them in a very respectful manner will turn them away from you. He or she will feel ashamed and embarrassed.
Secondly, it will be in your best interest to keep a record of all the happenings. Additionally, try and find a witness who can back your claims. Nonetheless, if you are afraid to confront the aggressor, you can always talk to higher authorities in the workplace. The best part is that several companies and organizations have in-house rules and procedures, and will deal with the problem accordingly. They just may turn out to be the solution to your problem. However, if the problem persists, it could be the right time to seek legal redress. This is now the right time when the witness and the records can come in. This will help you build a very strong case against the aggressor.
Normally, corporations and organizations are to blame for this because they often fail to put in place proper procedures to address cases of intimidation at work. As a business, it is very crucial that you set up an in-house mechanism to deal with this vice in the workplace. Managers and supervisors have the responsibility and obligation to actually promote a better working environment that is free from intimidation and bullying.
No matter how small the problem may be, it can really have some serious legal consequences for the organization, as well as the perpetrator in the long run. This is because workplace harassment is often considered as discrimination. As a business, you really have to combat this issue head-on and ensure it comes to an end to avoid possible litigation.