Did you know the average American spends around 92,120 hours a year in the workplace? With most people spending the majority of their time at work, it’s important that it is a place to feel safe, secure, and happy. While work stress can interfere with happiness, bad colleagues shouldn’t. Unfortunately, workplace harassment is still prevalent, and it affects around a quarter of workers today. Being on the receiving end of such behavior can leave you feeling depressed, empty, and emotional. Instead of suffering in silence, we’ve put together some ways for you to deal with the drama so you can make it stop. Read on to find out how.
Check Your Company Handbook
Workplace harassment is illegal, and it will certainly be against the rules in your employee handbook. Locate a copy of your company’s policies and read up on the regulations. If you can clearly identify that your harasser’s behavior is violating the policy and leading you to be working in a hostile environment, you’ll have a better chance of successfully pleading your case.
Report The Harassment
Sit down with your company’s HR manager and speak to them about what you’re experiencing. Take your manager into the meeting with you and outlay all of your grievances with them. If your harasser is your manager, then go alone, or take a friendly colleague you can trust. It is the duty of you employers to ensure the happiness of their staff.
File A Complaint In Writing
Whilst reporting face to face will give you a chance to speak freely, follow up the meeting with a written complaint by email or in a letter. This way, nothing can be misconstrued. While your HR department is there to help you, if the person harassing you is senior within the business, they may be encouraged to brush your problems under the carpet. Backing up your claims in writing will give you another line of defense and force people to take action.
You cannot make a complaint that is unsubstantiated if you want to be taken seriously. Before you report wrongdoing, ensure that you have written, audio or photographic evidence of your harassment so that you cannot be ignored and can prove your case. Things like emails are good, as are any audio or video recordings of your harasser making you uncomfortable.
Having witnesses to your grievances is a useful way to prove that you’re a victim of harassment. Speak to colleagues that you trust and who are neutral to the situation who will be able to speak to your HR department and back up your claims.
It is natural that you may not want to rock the boat or speak up against workplace harassment, however, it is important that you stay strong and push forward with your case. Bullies rarely have a single victim, so you may be preventing the same thing from happening to someone else.
Have you suffered from workplace harassment? Share your experience in the comments to help others break free from the cycle of bullying.