Workplace harassment is a phenomenon that occurs in the professional sphere for different reasons. In most cases it is about competitiveness, however this is a social behavior that is more complex.

You can refer to this issue using the word “ bullying ”, it comes from English and translates as harassment or humiliation . But generally to refer to workplace harassment another term is used which is ” mobbing “.

In various companies around the world there have been several cases of this type, employees say they feel harassed by their bosses. But conflicts can also arise between colleagues .

Like other types of bullying, common characteristics are mentioned. Violence is exercised through insults, threats, blows and actions that violate the mental stability of the victims . Depending on the relationship between the people involved, different violent methods are used to attack and humiliate.

What is workplace bullying (mobbing)?

Workplace bullying is defined as harassment and harassment suffered by some people within the environment in which they work. These individuals systematically and repeatedly experience episodes of physical and psychological violence . This is a common phenomenon in some countries, where workers’ rights are not taken into consideration.

These types of cases are common within schools, but abuse has no limits and can happen at home or at work. In the latter case, workplace bullying occurs for reasons that are directly related to the activities carried out there. The creative differences and competitiveness are often the main causes.

Conflict situations are often described whose protagonists are two people working together. However, a group can also be involved, which materializes different forms of abuse in complicity . These violent actions affect psychologically and physically.

Workplace harassment will affect both men and women , it does not have restrictions regarding the age, profession or position of the victim. Thousands of cases of this type are registered annually globally. For this reason, some companies have begun to implement measures to help avoid conflicts, which have repercussions of this type.

Types and characteristics 

Workplace harassment is classified in two different ways, the first of which is from a hierarchical position. This means that it depends on the type of relationship that exists between the harasser and the victim. This category is subdivided into others, the first is the horizontal hierarchy ; which describes the relationship between personnel who hold similar positions in a company.

Because these situations often happen between co-workers, the repercussions not only affect psychologically; but also in work activities. In this case, conflicts are generated from competition, enmity , creative differences, overwork and even boredom.

In the case of the vertical hierarchy , a relationship between subordinates and bosses is being described. Whoever fulfills the role of being the stalker has a higher hierarchical level than the one the victim will occupy, it is called descending mobbing or bossing.

The opposite could be the case, ascending mobbing . It is characterized by psychological harassment that comes from subordinates who attack people who have a higher hierarchical level.

Another classification of types of workplace harassment takes into consideration what is the objective or the reasons . That is, those who decide to initiate harassment situations usually do so with a purpose. The most common cases are described below:

  • The strategic mobbing is a form of harassment descending, characterized by implementing a strategy aimed at achieving that voluntarily terminated his contract victim. It is usually employed in companies that want to avoid paying compensation, corresponding to dismissal considered unfair.
  • The mobbing management , or management can occur for different reasons. You may want to do without an employee who has a difficult character, or who often creates conflicts and does not fit the needs of the company. Therefore, the objective is to maximize labor productivity by this means, one begins to threaten dismissal on repeated occasions.
  • The perverse mobbing has a definite reason. The causes are usually related to a manipulative and harassing personality on the part of the perpetrators. It is considered to be the most harmful type of harassment, and it is difficult to find a solution because the reasons are not specified.
  • The mobbing disciplinary , as its name implies, is a type of harassment based on threats to force victims comply with the orders dictated. Punishments are often used on people who do not conform to the rules, although these may violate their physical and intellectual integrity.

Most common causes and examples

There are several types of causes that promote the beginning of violent and conflictive episodes between co-workers. Relationships between people in these environments are often influenced by stress and conflicts of interest . The most common causes are described below:

  • The performance and organization of some colleagues may arouse the anger or dissatisfaction of others. This is because expectations are not met as expected.
  • The workload and lack of motivation , create a work environment in which people are forced to perform repetitive and boring activities.
  • The directors and heads authoritarian, seeking the ideal way to optimize the work pace. On the contrary, what they cause is that conflicts are created between the workers.
  • The allocation of the same tasks for employees to generate monotony and discomfort. This means that the person does not feel that he is developing professionally. Also, it causes frustration, which means poor performance.
  • The lack of direct and clear communication between co-workers reduces the opportunities to carry out projects that produce benefits.
  • Criticizing the private life of colleagues is an invasion of the personal well-being of each person.
  • Not valuing effort and contributions. Criticisms regarding the performance shown by each of the members of the work group.
  • The social isolation means avoid verbal and physical contact.
  • The loss of prestige of the workers implies permanently damaging the personal and labor reputation. Rumors and lies can be spread in order to achieve this goal.

What to do to prevent workplace bullying? 

Several international institutions related to the regulation of labor standards, propose various ideas for their prevention. One of them is the European Agency for Safety and Health at Work, others also agree on the establishment of prevention plans . These integrate norms that promote the improvement of working conditions, and also support basic rights such as those mentioned below:

  • direction focused on democracy must be implemented . In this way, it is guaranteed that each person can be valued and heard equally.
  • Maintain fluid and direct communication . Each person will be informed about the projects and objectives on which the work will focus.
  • Offer each member the possibility of proposing and choosing which tasks will have priority. Equitable distribution of work guarantees an increase in performance.
  • Avoid maintaining a repetitive and monotonous work rhythm . A variety of methodologies should be sought that promote the creativity and enthusiasm of the workers.
  • Establish plans with concise and clear indications . In this way, confusion is avoided, each worker will understand what their functions and responsibilities are.

Workplace harassment should be included in companies’ risk assessments . This way you can prevent surprise changes in relationships between employees.

Likewise, the education of each one regarding what workplace harassment means. Knowing the scope of this type of violence will help reduce the chances of it happening in this environment.

Each company must formulate norms and guidelines that favor adequate and positive social interaction. The penalties and consequences in cases of harassment will also be specified.

Thus each new employee will understand what the rules, organization and values of that community are . Mutual respect must be widely promoted.

Website | + posts

Alexa Clark specializes in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. She has experience in listening and welcoming in Individual Therapy and Couples Therapy. It meets demands such as generalized anxiety, professional, love and family conflicts, stress, depression, sexual dysfunction, grief, and adolescents from 15 years of age. Over the years, She felt the need to conduct the psychotherapy sessions with subtlety since She understands that the psychologist acts as a facilitator of self-understanding and self-acceptance, valuing each person's respect, uniqueness, and acceptance.

Related Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *