Nowadays the problem of bullying at workplace is becoming very significant among employees around the world, including Ireland. Bullying is a widespread workplace issue. In fact, it is not against the law by itself, but harassment is.
Courts have recognized that psychological injuries affect people to the same extent as bullying. Sometimes the result of bullying can be even more painful than of a broken leg or arm.
Among the examples of bullying behavior are aggression, verbal or physical abuse, humiliation, undermining behavior and others.
Bullying is inappropriate behavior that undermines victim’s right to dignity at workplace. Sometimes it is not easy to understand whether bullying is happening or not. Often there are no visible differences between bullying and strong management because of a person’s desire not to let anybody know what particularly hurts his/her.
Who is bullied and how often
How do those who are being bullied look? It is difficult to describe these victims, but often they are not sociable, have difficulties with working in team, are not easy-going, and not satisfied with their lives. On the other hand, there are a lot of strong and communicative persons among those who get bullied. But even if they are hurt, often they successfully hide this fact from their colleagues.
According to the CareerBuilder American site’s statistical investigation’s results, one of three employees might be affected by bullying. It was also found that one in five leave their job because of this reason.
Some experts state that the problem of bullying at workplace in Ireland has become similar to “a silent epidemic”: only few employees can discuss this topic with others. It is a psychological problem, so a lot of people are not ready to share it openly.
How to act
There are a lot of laws that regulate employees’ safety at workplace. At the same time, many workers feel nervous and depressed because of the atmosphere at their workplace, and they cannot solve this problem.
What actions have to be taken in such a situation? Employees have to try to solve the problem informally first. For example, to communicate with a person who is offended. If it is possible, it is better to have a dialogue with him\her face to face. The victim can try to explain his/her own position and to ask the opponent to change this behavior. As a rule, this method can be effective only in case a person is not causing harm deliberately. If a person had offended purposefully, such a dialogue can only bring negative results and aggravate the situation. If the situation cannot be solved in this way, the victim should talk to the manager, the human resources department or the trade union representative in the company. Or the person who is being bullied can complain that somebody has offended his/her to the leader of the company or to the Health and Safety Authority directly. But for this it is necessary to provide evidence.