It’s not always easy to identify bullying behavior, because bullying happens in many different environments and among groups of all ages. Unfortunately, bullying is linked to many negative outcomes including impacts on mental health, substance use, and suicide. And bullying doesn’t just happen among youth — workplace bullying involves adults.
Workplace bullying typically involves deliberate insults, threats, demeaning comments, constant criticism, overbearing supervision, blatant exclusion, being overworked, project sabotage, blocked promotions or simply not communicating with colleagues. Workplace bullying negatively impacts everyone involved — the victim, the working environment and anyone who is part of the situation. Creating a respectful, healthy workplace environment is key to prioritizing the mental health and well-being of your team.
- Be open and honest with company policies and procedures. Create a workplace environment based on respect for one another, and where bullying is not tolerated.
- Create a clear channel of communication. Direction and guidance must come from the top. Is there a clear channel for reporting workplace incivility or bullying without recourse? Employee surveys provide good insights as well.
- Implement training. Managers and team leaders should know what to do if they witness or hear about workplace bullying. Encourage equal treatment for all employees, and give employees the tools and steps to follow to report bullying.