Clearly they need to take action, but this can prove to be difficult, so here’s a three step model which can be the road to positive, good mental health and you have a seven out of ten chance of losing the job you once loved, so you’re already at risk. You suffer no more risk to follow these steps.
Step one: you’ve got to come out of hiding – you’ve got to name bullying.
Step two: once you discover that you’re bullied, take time off. You need rest and while on leave, you need to do four things: First, check your physical health – there are stress related health complications that have already begun because it’s taken you a while to discover bullying, so consult your physician. Two, check your mental health – see a life coach, be validated, know that you’re not crazy, it is not you. Three, see if there’s any recourse within the company in terms of existing policies, and if not, consult a legal professional to seek redress. Four, during time out, refocus your energies and start the healing process because at this point, you just feel lousy and people don’t want to help you and they don’t want to hear your lengthy stories anymore as they’ve heard the infinitesimal details several times.
Step three: expose the bully. After time out and return to office, use the tactic of tapping into the power of co-workers. Co-workers united can let the bully know that his/her behaviour is unacceptable and that he/she need to stop the bullying of staff members. Bullies are full of bravado and bluster and they will generally back down when confronted by co-workers to address their behaviour. This action by co-workers will make bullies realize that co-workers are no longer prepared to sit back, watch and ignore the bullying going on in the office and are prepared to escalate the matter to the relevant authorities.
It is very easy to adopt a defeatist attitude and think about leaving the organization but of course, that may not be possible for some people because they maybe the only breadwinner in the household or a single parent who has no-one else to rely upon, therefore it is not an easy choice. But, as a final resort, if bullying is done by a boss or a person with the title power to actually take away your livelihood, and your workplace cannot give you that buffer from, and protect you from the bully, you really have to get another job. Despite the economic hardship, despite the tough times of finding a position, despite the sense of injustice, “Why should I have to do it?” Do it to live else the stress will be detrimental to your health.
The real key to stress relief is to get the stressor out of your life, so you’ve got to change your work environment either by transferring out of the area or getting another job. Most people being bullied never think of transferring to another department because they believe that they didn’t invite the bullying, so why should they have to pay and give up the job they once loved. They need to realize that the job they love was transformed the day they were targeted. People deserve to be safe and healthy and should not have to run the risk of getting sick just from trying to accomplish the job for a pay check after months of misery.
Bullies are not made of the stuff that they want you to believe they’re made of. They’re not courageous; they’re fearful themselves, they’re insecure. So the beauty is, if they were to be confronted by either co-workers who rise up in support of one another or by peers or superiors who have the courage to say, “This is wrong and it’s bad for business. It’s stupid. With or without a policy this needs to stop and this type of behaviour makes us all look bad and reflects poorly on us. You need to Stop It.” They will STOP.