Signs of Workplace Bullying

Written by Calvin Bowers
Last updated June 14, 2021

Sadly, one reason people choose to change their career or at least change their job is because of workplace bullying. Workplace bullying is a serious issue and can drive people to feel deeply isolated. If you are considering leaving your job, ask yourself whether it’s a result of workplace bullying. Discrimination and bullying of any kind are illegal at work, meaning the law protects employees against them. Speak to your HR department if you have any worries and they will be able to help you.

We know that workplace bullying can manifest in various ways. It may not always be as apparent as one might expect. Because of this, sometimes workplace bullying can go on without people recognising it as bullying. In this guide, we will give some signs of bullying to help you spot when it is happening to you or someone else. 

5 Signs of Workplace Bullying 

1. People Don’t Take Your Opinions Seriously

It’s essential that all employees feel listened to while they are at work. If you feel like your employer constantly dismisses your ideas and opinions, you may be experiencing bullying. Due to traditional hierarchies at work, it’s usual that managers and directors have the final say on decisions. However, this doesn’t mean that staff should feel ignored and that their opinion doesn’t matter.

2. You Never Get Chosen for Promotions or Projects

It can be hard to see a lack of promotion as a sign of workplace bullying as employees tend to rationalise the decision. Often, multiple people were going for only a single role. However, if you are clearly qualified for a promotion and continually miss out, it could be bullying. It often feels awkward to speak about promotions and pay rises at work without sounding demanding but be confident and try to ask for what you deserve.

3. Others Tease and Make Fun of You

A prevalent form of workplace bullying is teasing and belittling. At first, it can appear harmless fun. But, if you feel that you are continually made fun of, it could be a sign of bullying. Nobody should have to feel like they have to put up with unwarranted teasing at work, and this kind of behaviour can slowly grind down a person till they feel no longer able to speak up for themselves.

4. Your Work is Never Good Enough

At work, you should feel like the work you do is praised, respected and appreciated by your managers, even if you make mistakes and work on them a couple of times. A classic sign of workplace bullying is a manager who never congratulates or praises their staff and is constantly telling them what they need to do better. While constructive criticism is essential, it’s also essential that staff know that their effort is appreciated.

5. Managers Leave You Out of Meaningful Conversations and Decisions

A toxic workplace that allows for harassment and bullying doesn’t value open communication. Bullying isn’t just shouting and yelling; bullying can take much quieter and subtle forms such as secrecy and deliberate cut-offs in communication. If you are worried about bullying, question whether you feel included in workplace dialogue. 


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Last Updated: Wednesday January 10 2024
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