Workplace Bullying Definition

What is Workplace Bullying?

Workplace Bullying refers to repeated, health-harming mistreatment of one or more employees by one or more perpetrators. It can include verbal abuse, offensive conduct or behaviors, and work interference, which prevents work from getting done. This type of behavior creates a toxic work environment and can significantly impact the mental and physical health of the victims.

Key Features of Workplace Bullying

  1. Verbal Abuse: Insults, ridicule, and offensive remarks directed at an individual.
  2. Offensive Conduct: Intimidation, threats, and humiliation in the workplace.
  3. Work Interference: Deliberately preventing someone from performing their work effectively.
  4. Power Imbalance: Often involves an abuse of power by supervisors or coworkers.

How Workplace Bullying Works

Workplace bullying can manifest in various forms, including overt actions like shouting or covert actions like spreading rumors. It often targets individuals perceived as vulnerable or different and can be driven by a desire to control, dominate, or exclude. Organizations must address bullying through clear policies, reporting mechanisms, and support systems to ensure a safe and respectful work environment.

Best Practices for Addressing Workplace Bullying

  1. Clear Policies: Establish and enforce comprehensive anti-bullying policies.
  2. Training and Awareness: Educate employees and managers about recognizing and preventing bullying.
  3. Reporting Mechanisms: Provide confidential channels for reporting bullying incidents.
  4. Support Systems: Offer support to victims, including counseling and mediation services.


If you experience workplace bullying, document the incidents, report the behavior to HR or a trusted manager, and seek support from colleagues or professional counselors.

Employers can prevent workplace bullying by establishing clear anti-bullying policies, conducting regular training, encouraging open communication, and creating a supportive workplace culture.

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