Ban bullying at work day

Maya Driver

Ban Bullying At Work Day takes place on the 7th November. It is one day in the year to try to raise awareness about workplace bullying. The day was originally created by the Andrea Adams Trust, a charity set up in the name of a journalist who recognised the severity of bullying in the workplace and wrote a book published in 1992 entitled 'Bullying At Work'.

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You might think that bullying only happens to schoolchildren but you'd be wrong. Millions of people are bullied at work every day. In the workplace it involves one person abusing their position or power to undermine, criticise, hurt and humiliate another individual. Bullying can cause immense stress and statistics show that 18.9million working days are lost each year due to stress-related illnesses caused by bullying.

There are some warning signs to help spot workplace bullies. The first and most evident is an openly aggressive character - shouting and using obscenities. Other signs may be persisent criticism, setting unrealistic deadlines, taking away responsibility, spreading rumours, withholding information, ignoring other people's points of view, ostracising people, and making personal comments or insults.

If you have a bully in your workplace or are being bullied you should keep an account of any incidents, recording the date and time and what occurred. Also save any bullying emails or notes that are received - you may need to refer to these when you speak to a manager above the bully or go to your HR department. If the bully is the top dog then you might want to think about finding a new job. Whatever you do, don't let the bullies win. Never believe their criticisms and put-downs and remember that they are the ones with the problem and no one else.

Have you ever been bullied at work? Do you have any advice for someone who is being bullied? Leave a comment and share your thoughts.