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Yewande Jinadu: What Should We Do About Workplace Bullying?

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A recent viral video of bullying has caused people to have different thoughts about how parents should raise their children. While society is quick to condemn school bullying, another crucial area to consider is workplace harassment. Workplace harassment is as widespread as any other form of harassment. It is different from physical assaults that occur in schools or other places, as it often manifests in subtler but equally damaging ways, such as intimidation, manipulation, and sabotage. The perpetrators can be colleagues, supervisors, or even higher-ups in the organisational hierarchy. The consequences of bullying can significantly impact individuals mentally and psychologically, leading to absenteeism, reduced productivity, and talent attrition. I believe there are strategies and actions that anyone experiencing workplace bullying can consider.

Document everything

At some point in your life, it may be necessary for you to speak up for yourself using facts rather than assumptions. To do so, it is helpful to keep detailed records of any incidents that occur, including the date, time and a description of the behaviour. This documentation serves as a factual basis for lodging complaints and may also be used as evidence if necessary.

Establish boundaries

Bullies thrive on a sense of power, control, and dominance over others. They also do not like to be confronted with their actions. Set clear boundaries with the bully, firmly but respectfully. Assertive communication can deter further harassment and communicate that such behaviour is unacceptable.

Seek support

You may question yourself severally if you are the problem but that will only compound the issue. Reach out to trusted colleagues, mentors, or HR representatives for guidance and support. Strength often lies in solidarity, and sharing experiences with others can help validate your feelings and provide perspective. 

Utilise formal channels

Bullies often have support from people within the organisation, who allow them to keep behaving in the same way. If informal attempts to resolve the situation are unsuccessful, don’t hesitate to escalate the matter through formal channels. You can also use anonymous channels with proof if you don’t trust the organisation. Most organisations have policies and procedures in place to deal with workplace harassment. Exercise your rights and seek recourse through established channels.

Prioritise self-care

Workplace bullying can have a significant negative impact on an individual’s mental and emotional well-being. To minimise the effects of bullying, it is essential to practice self-care activities such as mindfulness, and exercise, and, if needed, seek professional counseling. Remember, your health and well-being come first. If you feel that leaving the job is the best option, then don’t hesitate to update your CV and search for new opportunities.

For HR Professionals and Business owners, it is crucial to lead by example and not bully people to exercise your power. Implementing zero-tolerance policies, training your employees on the implications of bullying if reported, and encouraging open dialogue can help address workplace bullying. Bullies often thrive in an insecure culture where people cannot freely express themselves. Therefore, creating a safe environment where employees can speak up without fear of retaliation is essential.

Addressing workplace bullying requires a collective effort from individuals, organisations, and society at large. By raising awareness, advocating for change, and implementing practical strategies, we can create healthier and more inclusive work environments where all employees can thrive.



Feature Image by August de Richelieu for Pexels

Yewande Jinadu is the Founder of CareerLife Nigeria, an ICF Certified Coach and also the Author of 'The All Inclusive Career Handbook'. She has been recognised both globally and locally as an HR Leader and Career Influencer. She's a Senior HR Professional passionate about shaping the culture of an organization towards improved productivity and a positive employee experience. With CareerLife Foundation, she helps young professionals achieve measurable success in their career. With CareerLife Consulting Services, she partners with businesses to deliver value through its people by providing HR Services (Recruitment, Training etc). Visit to see how she can support you or your business

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