Top Tips For Dealing With Workplace Harassment and Bullying
People spend a significant amount of their life in the workplace, and it’s only reasonable that they feel safe, respected, and comfortable while there. If you’re considering leaving a job you enjoy and are good at because someone in your workplace is making your life miserable, think again. If you believe you’re experiencing harassment or bullying of any description while at work, it’s time to act. With these tips under your belt, you can begin to take back control and end the harassment making your workplace hostile.
Speaking to a trusted management member (usually your immediate manager) is one of the first steps toward resolution. As senior-level member, they should be able to guide and support you. Every company has a different structure, so figuring out your company’s code of conduct and complaints procedure is often easier with help. And speaking about a problem to someone trusted can ease the burden and provide validation, which in turn gives strength to fight.
Get Legal Representation
Many people choose not to pursue shutting down bullying and harassment because they feel unsupported. Approaching an employment lawyer for advice and, if necessary, representation is an excellent way to get unbiased professional support. They can help clarify a situation and identify which information you need to ask your employers to resolve the issue. They can build a case and represent you in any legal proceedings if your situation escalates.
Keep A Record
A one-off minor incident will likely be dealt with differently than a serious or recurring problem. After each incident, note what, where, and when so that you have accurate information when taking the matter forward. It can also help you form a picture of what’s really going on.
Claims of bullying and harassment are serious, and backing them up is vital to avoid a ‘your word against their word’ scenario that gets dismissed without a suitable resolution.
As well as keeping a record of incidents, securely save a copy of any evidence like emails and screenshots of private messages. If there’s any video evidence or eyewitnesses, remember the call on these.
Speak to Co-Workers
Speaking to co-workers allows you to assess if you alone are the target or if others are also experiencing harassment or bullying. Several people banding together will strengthen the case against the perpetrator. It’s harder for higher-ups to ignore an issue if multiple people present evidence.
Keep The Upper Hand
As much as the idea of taking matters into your own hands sounds appealing sometimes, it’s inadvisable. Retaliation opens you up to claims of bullying and harassment, the exact thing you’re experiencing. Rather than muddying the water, keep your dealings professional and let the HR experts deal with things. You’ll keep the upper hand in the situation, and the company will resolve your complaint faster.
Workplace harassment is never acceptable; if you experience it, you must speak up. Collect evidence, speak to others internally and externally if needed, and lodge an official complaint using your company’s HR channel.