Workplace bullying can take many forms, whatever it consists of it can be draining, scary, emotionally unbalancing and just unpleasant for the employee being bullied, the manager / employer tasked to deal with it as well as those who are on the sidelines, (work colleagues) who get embroiled / sucked into the workplace / employment dispute.
The typical workplace disputes we have dealt with over the years have varied from hierarchy disputes, discrimination, working styles, personality clashes, however a large proportion of them have involved workplace bullying, or alleged workplace bullying.
Our mediators are regularly mediating disputes over issues such as competition, promotion, favorites being chosen and favored, which appear to be the original underlying issues, and as resentment and time sets in they fall into bullying whereby the employee is left isolated, stressed and helpless.
The emotional and psychological effects of bullying can be devastating, it affects an individual’s whole life, straining and affecting none work relationships with family and friends as well as the obvious work colleagues.
Workplace bullying itself is very similar to the playground bully, whereby the bullied does a variety of things, nothing at all, acts out in an inappropriate fashion which usually makes the problem tenfold, or informs somebody finally when they could have much sooner!
Translated in to a work situation when an employee does nothing, they either put up with the situation, and develop other issues due to this, which in turn affects productivity and ultimately becomes a strain on resources, and usually eventually blows up into a massive mess which HR, unions and legal then spend an enormous amount of time trying to rectify, especially where inappropriate (possibly verbal abuse, violence) happens as a result of the bullying.
However sometimes the bullied finally decides to tell another work colleague / superior about the issue, which had they had done much sooner the issues could have been addressed much quicker and prevented the need for external departments to have become involved as well as eradicated all of the stress the bullied went through unnecessarily.