How do I deal with bullying and harassment in the workplace?
Recently, Forensic Notes posted the following answer on Quora at:
The best way to deal with bullying and harassment in the workplace is to document, document, document.
Without proper documentation, it will be your word versus the bully.
The problem with this is that bullies can often be very convincing if you have no witnesses or information to back up your claim, especially if they are in a position of power or have more seniority than you within the organization.
Many experts in bullying agree with the need to document including Dr. Renee Thompson who is an expert in handing Nurse Bullying within hospitals and medical facilities. Recently, she wrote a Nurse Bullying article for Forensic Notes stating the following:
Every time a nurse shares his/her bullying story with me, I ask this question:
“Have you documented your experiences?”
In most cases, the answer is no.
Dr. Renee Thompson goes on to discuss the importance of documentation and how this recently helped one nurse she was mentoring win a legal case due to bullying within her work environment.
The reason why documentation is so important is because of the environments we work in. As someone being bullied, you may be in a situation where a group is targeting you. Although it may seem like a large group of people, in reality it is normally a single person in the group that others are simply following either due to the seniority of that individual or due to fear in being a target themselves if they speak up.
An excellent article about this herd mentality can be found on Nurse Keith’s Blog.
“This is the herd mentality at its worst, and many novice nurses are taken down by bullies and power-hungry colleagues who eat them alive when they’re demonstrating the slightest weakness.”
Once you properly document the incidents occurring, then you have more options in dealing with the situation.
This may include contacting your Human Resource department, EEOC, employment lawyer or a local government agency set up to handle workplace issues.
If you would like to document online, we offer a free service for targets of workplace bullying. We believe that by working together, we can hopefully put a stop to workplace bullying, discrimination and harassment.