Symptoms of Workplace Bullying

Symptoms of Workplace Bullying

By Anum Shafique


According to workplace Bullying Institute; workplace bullying is a repeated, health harming mistreatment of one or more persons (the targets) by one or more perpetrators.

It is an abusive conduct that is threatening, humiliating or intimidating, workplace interference and sabotage which prevents work from getting done or verbal abuse.

This is a very common phenomena which we find in the organizations. But due to the fact that we can not name it because we do not understand that what is actually happening with us and do not have any awareness of it, we remain confused and remain on the suffering end.

It creates a hostile work environment for the workers and usually targets the good workers. They are constantly being criticized, being given assignments which are meaningless just to keep them busy. This is a very broad concept and entails an huge intensity in it.

One very important thing to understand this concept in more depth is firstly to identify that either the situation a person is referring to actually falls under the category of workplace bullying or not. Because it is also very easy to misinterpret the situation as well.

For this reason we need to identify the symptoms or the red flags which lead to the diagnosis of this problem.

At each end where the workplace bullying can occur these relative symptoms firstly confirm its occurrence and demand us for their resolution. The early identification is very helpful because at the early stage the complications seem less intense.

One hallmark of workplace bullying is that usually the competent employee is being bullied. Instead of making him/her an asset to the organization, the supervisor becomes professionally threatened and starts bullying.

Verbal Symptoms include:

  • Unnecessary yelling
  • Blocking promotions
  • Deliberately ignoring
  • Taking credit and sabotaging employees work
  • Overloading an employee
  • Setting unreasonable deadlines
  • Requiring increased working hours beyond full time
  • Engaging an employee in unnecessary conversations
  • Robbing employee’s time and them blaming him/her to be less efficient and useless
  • Discriminating on the basis of gender
  • Putting an employee aside or on the back burner due to gender
  • Making jokes and unnecessary remarks of an employee

Financial Bullying might include creating financial hardships for the employee; these hardships can be formal or informal as well.

These are some of the most common symptoms. There might be many others. It depends on the situation and the person dealing with the situation. But the important thing is the identification of the underlying issue accurately only then we can move forward for its resolution.

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