When we think of bullying, our mind wanders to thoughts of children getting pushed and shoved in the school yard. We don’t think about adults getting bullied in the workplace. Unfortunately, workplace bullying is a problem that can seriously affect a person’s mental health at work and at home.

If a co-worker, supervisor of colleague is bullying you at work, it may come as a relief to know that you are not alone. In fact, workplace bullying is a problem that affects almost 30% of people.

Types Of Bullying In The Workplace


In almost all cases, bullying in the workplace is not physical but is just as devastating and humiliating to the victim. There are various types of bullying at work, some of which may go unnoticed to others in the workplace, including:

  • Exclusion from social events and meetings/brainstorming sessions
  • Purposely ignoring someone
  • Unnecessary criticism (often in front of other colleagues)
  • Gossiping/Spreading harmful rumours
  • Purposely preventing or sabotaging career advancements
  • Verbal insults/Shouting
  • Threats in relation to job security

If you are experiencing any of these, it is time to talk to your boss about bullying. We understand that talking to your boss may feel as humiliating as the bullying itself, but it is the best way to put a stop to it and protect your mental and physical health and wellbeing.

Document The Bullying Behaviour


Before talking to your employer, make a note of any incidents as they happen. It is your boss’ responsibility to remain unbiased when investigating any bullying claims.

Workplace Bullying blog by Wellspace

Your employer will have to give the bully an opportunity to tell their side of the story and relay their version of events. So, in order to strengthen your case against the bully, you should be keeping a record of any incidents that take place between yourself and the bully.

Make a note of the time and date when the incident occurred and describe what happened including any words or actions the bully used. Also, document where the incident took place and who was present at the time.

Documenting the bullying behaviours displays that the bullying is an ongoing pattern of behaviour.

Request A Private Meeting With Your Employer


This one may seem obvious but can often be overlooked. Request a private, one-to-one meeting with your employer and explain that you would like to discuss a sensitive matter.

This way, your boss will set some time aside for the meeting and it is unlikely that you will be interrupted by other staff members or phone calls etc.

Be Open And Honest About The Workplace Bullying


Once you have outlined the issue, explain to your employer why you have felt the need to talk to them about it. Explain that the ongoing bullying is affecting your workplace wellbeing and mental health at work.

Emphasise that you would like to avoid a confrontation and clarify that you need help to resolve the situation.

Prepare yourself for any questions your employer may have regarding the workplace bullying and answer any questions honestly and rationally.

Do not be offended if your employer questions what you are telling them. Your employer will need as much information as possible in order to get to the bottom of the problem and make an unbiased decision on how to resolve it.Workplace Bullying blog by Wellspace

Be Able To Prove Your Performance


Proving that you perform well at work is particularly important if your bully is a supervisor or someone who has a say in your performance evaluations. So, try to collect a record of data displaying that you’re performing well at work.

It could also be beneficial to gather statements from your co-workers or other managers stating that you perform well at work and are an asset to the company.

Give Your Boss Time To Resolve The Problem


A professional employer will need time to further investigate the claims before acting on them. This may include talking to your fellow colleagues and discussing the problem with the HR department in order to decide on the consequences that your bully will face.

If nothing improves following the discussion with your boss, you can make a formal complaint using your employer’s grievance procedure. Or perhaps seek advice elsewhere by contacting the Acas helpline, Citizens Advice: problems at work or Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC).

Get In Touch


Hopefully, the advice in this article will help you talk to your boss about bullying in the workplace.

If you have any questions or would like to chat to someone about your workplace wellbeing, you can contact us here or call us on 0808 178 0748.

Here at Wellspace, we have a dedicated team of health and wellbeing professionals who can offer lots of ideas and advice on workplace wellbeing and many other health related issues and we look forward to hearing from you!