How to get grip on workplace bullying?

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Akeela having completed her executive MBA in marketing from a top b-school has recently joined a tech startup in Bangalore. During the interviews, she was trying to gauge the culture of the company however with limited time available in the office space and lack of inputs available on the internet about the startup company, she couldn’t find much information and reviews. Shortly after joining, she realized that her boss, an ex-star rated employee of a big 4 firm, has been extremely loud and foul mouth. While Akeela was on the learning curve in the very first week of joining, she found her boss to have humiliated her in public twice for not knowing a few data analytics processes. This was an extremely unsettling feeling for Akeela. Soon she found from her colleagues that there has been a high drop out in the past because of the bad behavior with the employees. And in the very first month of her joining, she started regretting her decision of joining a startup.

In the present ecosystem of fast-paced, ever-changing, highly demanding corporate world, irrational behavior as faced by Akeela is very common and has been regularly faced by employees. Instances such as physical and mental bullying in an organisation are commonly faced by employees and have been the reasons for causing distress among them. It needs no emphasis that workplace bullying is extremely detrimental to the good culture of any organisation. Not only it demotivates employees which leads to poor work output, but also reflects a bad culture and a negative environment not conducive to work and is thus detrimental to the overall growth of the organisation.

Besides professionalism, personalities and social behaviour play a major role in office spaces. One of the management’s biggest challenge is to ensure that the good culture and values in the office remain preserved and is nurtured further. It would be an understatement to say that ensuring healthy & thriving work spaces would be crucial for the vertical and lateral exchange of ideas and information.

Bad behavior such as bullying acts as a roadblock in ensuring this. While human behavior in an interview remains difficult to decipher, the respective management must take all possible efforts to ensure that people are gauged well on these aspects during the interview process itself especially when selecting at the leadership level. One rotten egg can have a damaging effect on the whole ecosystem.

Similarly, a mid-course correction such as removing those from the system who can have a damaging effect on the workplace environment can be taken. To ensure that policies are created around reporting of any work space harassment, physical or mental, the custodians of good culture and traditions must act as the careful watch-keepers

The individuals consider workplaces as their career shapers but with the bullying, in the process, the individual is less likely to grow.

The employees must be encouraged to report any such incidents. Also, a definite & a legally-right course of action must be taken by the management to ensure that the environment is well-guarded and is highly conducive to work.

A conscious organisation with relevant policies would ensure that not only the employees are not harassed but also those who are doing this mend their ways or else they would be shown the way out.

Rekha Sharma

Key Account Manager – Auto Sales

Impeccable HR Consulting Pvt. Ltd.


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