Write it Down

Don’t let your bullying complaint evaporate. When you have been subjected to bulling or other inappropriate behavior, put down in writing what happened. That has two important effects. First, it makes your mind less likely to keep reminding you of the incident. Second, it allows you create a complaint that cannot evaporate.

When something important happens, good or bad, your mind recognizes it. Because it is important, your minds wants to hold on to it. That means it will regularly remind you in order to refresh the memory. For good memories, that is great. For bad experiences, you want to tell your mind that you got this on paper, so you don’t need any more reminders.

The people in your organization’s HR department or the school district have lots of things to worry about. If you report bullying, your important report might get lost in a pile of less important, but seemingly more urgent, tasks. But once a report is in writing, it cannot easily evaporate. It becomes a record in a system. There are people who will be evaluated on whether they address the complaints in that system. And if complaints about specific people pile up, they are more likely to be taken to task.

Speak Up Against Bullying

Ireland has taken step forward in the fight against workplace bullying with their new “Code of Practice for Employers and Employees on the Prevention and Resolution of Bullying at Work.” Having an official definition of what constitutes bullying can be helpful. It means that a company HR department that receives a complaint has something to compare the reported behavior to.

Rules are one part of the fight against bullying, but the most important part is yours. If you are subject of bullying, you need to report it. If you witness bullying and don’t want to step into the situation, you also need to report it. When we all speak up against bullying, the bully faces consequences and bullying decreases.

Report Bullying

UK Home Secretary Priti Patel was found to have bullied staff, violating the ministerial code. The Home Secretary apologized, and the Prime Minister decided his anti-bullying strategy did not extend beyond sending a letter to all ministers reminding them to behave themselves.

If you are bullied in the workplace, you need to speak up to someone. It will be uncomfortable confronting the bully, but in any medium-sized or larger organization, you don’t need to do that. Instead, report the bullying to your HR function, giving details of specific incidents of bullying. If the bullying is in email, print them out, give a paper copy to HR and keep one yourself. Your HR function might decide to confront the bully immediately, or only after receiving multiple reports. But by reporting them, you are no longer a passive victim. And that is an important step in stopping bullying.