Bullying at work found to be a major cause of mental health concerns

A recent TUC poll has found that nearly a third of people are bullied at work, and 46% of respondents identified bullying as one of the top five problems in their workplace. Bullying and harassment in the workplace includes verbal aggression or shouting, isolation, an unrealistic workload, continuous criticism of a person and/or their work, constantly interfering and dictating and continuous ill treatment. Bullying is recognised as a major cause of stress in the workplace. The poll found that many have experienced bullying, micro-management, aggressive and threatening behaviour from their managers during employment and found that this behaviour had a serious impact on the mental health of those on the receiving end.

Respondents also described managers as often inexperienced, out of their depth, lacking the necessary people skills, expressing favouritism, failing to offer recognition and feedback and failing to communicate effectively. Having a policy in place that includes a reporting system, and ensuring everyone is aware of what constitutes bullying may limit bullying but staff should also receive appropriate training and know that if affected by bullying, they will feel listened to and have confidence that the issue will be dealt with effectively. When promoting a person into a people manager role, organisations should have management training programmes which address, policies, procedures and processes, but importantly, also covers people and emotional skills training. Organisations need to invest in expert training in this area to ensure that their managers have the right emotional skills and training to deal with people issues.

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