Cyber bullying is frighteningly common in the workplace. It can cause anxiety and stress eventually leading to a decline in employee productivity. Workplace cyber bullying proves not only hard to track, but also to monitor, being as prevalent as all other forms of bullying in the workplace. It is imperative to take action against cyberbullying in the workplace in order to maintain sustainable business operations.
So, what exactly is cyber bullying? And what can you do if your work colleagues are bullying you online? Learning Seat has some handy tips to go about handling your workplace cyber bullying problem.
Cyber bullying is a form of bullying which incorporates the use of electronic devices as a medium for communication, with the intent to cause feelings of threat, intimidation, humiliation and harassment. Fundamentally cyber bullying takes place on any and all electronic devices including phones, computers and tablets; Cyber Bullying also employs the use of communication tools such as social media sites, chat forums, blogs, text messages and websites.
While there is no single successful method to either prevent or end cyber bullying in the workplace, there are a few promising strategies that victims can take to combat cyber bullying in their workplace environment.
Addressing your bully
If you feel comfortable to do so, you should attempt to respond in an appropriate manner to the bully, stating their behaviour is not okay, how it is making you feel and that they should stop immediately. If the bully persists and continues to behave in this way, you should:
– Ignore future communication received- generally, bullies are encouraged by provoking a reaction.
– Make a hardcopy record of all bullying messages you receive- this easily identifies who the bully was and all communication that took place.
– Block your bully- all social media sites possess the ability for you to block whoever you wish, in this case, your bully. This ceases your social media existence in the eyes of the bully discontinuing any streams of communication.
– Cut the bully off- Mobile phone providers also have the ability to screen messages and calls from numbers in your block list. Simply contact your provider, or set up in your phone messages to block any numbers you no longer wish to interact with.
– Seek the advice of other relevant bodies or superiors in your workplace.
Reaching out to relevant superiors
If you believe you are a victim of cyberbullying in the workplace, the first point of contact in your workplace should be to consult a relevant superior about your situation. Discussing your situation will determine the best method appropriate for your given circumstance, with the potential to stop the bully in an early stage. You can consult any superior including:
– A manager or supervisor
– The human resource department
– A workplace health and safety representative
– A union (specific to your industry)
Seeking help from the Fair Work Commission
If you are still employed in your organisation, you may be eligible to have the Fair Work Commission take action on your behalf to cease cyber bullying. After successful assessment of eligibility criteria, you can lodge your application with the Fair Work Commission.
Here at Learning Seat, we offer a range of online adaptive learning training courses for bullying in the workplace and specifically online bullying in the workplace. These courses not only address signs of workplace cyber bullying but also provide ways to take action if there is online bullying present in your workplace. Online courses include Workplace Bullying and Harassment, Workplace bullying – The S.A.F.E Files, Bullying – Law at Work, Workplace Bullying – Adaptive Training Course and Workplace Bullying for Managers and Executives.
If you are a business looking to change your workplace’s behaviour then contact Learning Seat today on 1300 133 151 or get in touch via firstname.lastname@example.org.