Jobs and Career: Dealing with Bullies at Work

Jane Matovu (not real name) left her job because her boss saw a fault in everything she did.

She would insult her before a group of people and sometimes the insults were not work related.

She had started getting constant headache due to the stress and shame as no one respected her basing on how her boss treated her.

“The day I left the job was when she slapped me in public,” she recalls.

“It had gone out of hand and I almost lost my mind. She would literally do anything because she knew I had nothing to do and nowhere to go,” she adds, saying people should learn that besides being bosses, the people they lead are also human beings who deserve to be respected.

Bullying is described as a deliberate attempt to undermine, use or control someone. Bullying could be physical ( beating, over working someone) psychological ( torturing someone), emotional or verbal ( abusing).

So many people have been bullied at work and die silently without knowing what to do.

Some are bullied by their bosses or workmates. Here is how to deal with bullies at work.

Talk to them

Tell them you are not happy with what they are doing.

Peter Kaganzi, a Human Resource manager notes that it all goes down to how you handle yourself.

If you are too simple people will find it easy to bully you.

“Don’t turn into a tea girl when your job description doesn’t involve taking tea to your employee or fellow employees,” he advised.

“Don’t smile when someone insults you (show them you aren’t happy with it). This is a line that you should draw on your first days at work,” he says.

Know what is required of you

Before signing a contract, know you job description and what is required of you as a person.

This will save you from people who want you to do their work for as well as employers giving you extra work which isn’t paid for.

You could do extra work once or twice but not constantly and it should be a request since it’s not something you are supposed to do.

Talk to your supervisor

Talk to your supervisor incase any one is bullying you and they will help you out and if it’s your supervisor doing that then talk someone in a more superior position to intervene.

Report to police

Matovu notes that she learnt later that there is a law that protects employees from any form of harassment at work and if she had evidence, she would have reported her boss. She advises that you keep evidence for the things happening to you, get witnesses and report the bully to police if no one at your work place is helping. With that you will be helped and protected.

Do your best

Sometimes you may get bullied for producing substandard work all the time.

This will give your employer a pass to bully, insult or criticize you constantly.

To avoid this, you should do what is required of you to avoid insults.

And in case it continues after this, then stand up for your right as no one has the liberty to oppress you.

Behave well and respect others

Joel Kizito, an employer adds that you should carry yourself well and in turn you will get the respect you demand.

Sometimes people are bullied because they act bossy and don’t respect others including workmates and employers.

Kaganzi notes that constant bullying at work could cause mental problems to the victim. Make them less productive as they lose interest in the job and just appear for money, and some hate working.

Matovu notes that your health is better than any kind of job.

Don’t give up your health while putting up with bullies. Demand for your right, stand up for your self-esteem and incase the bullying goes on, move on.

In most cases bullies don’t change but you have to show them that you need to be respected.

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