Help! My boss is a bully.

Bullying in the workplace is a serious issue that can have a significant impact on the mental and emotional health of the employees involved. It can also damage the company’s reputation and productivity. Unfortunately, bullies can be found in every workplace, including the top of the hierarchy: bosses. As an employee, dealing with a bullying boss can be a challenging and stressful situation. So, what are your career options if you find yourself in this situation?

Firstly, it’s important to understand what constitutes bullying. According to the Australian Human Rights Commission, bullying is repeated and unreasonable behaviour that is directed towards a person or a group of people that creates a risk to their health and safety. Examples of bullying behaviour include verbal abuse, intimidation, exclusion, and spreading rumours.

If you feel that your boss is engaging in any of these behaviours, it’s essential to take action. There are several steps you can take to address the situation. The first step is to document the bullying behaviour. Keep a record of the incidents, including the date, time, location, and what was said or done. This will help you to present a clear case if you need to escalate the issue further.

The next step is to speak to your boss directly. This can be a daunting prospect, but it’s important to remain calm and professional. Explain the behaviour that is causing you concern, and how it’s impacting your work and well-being. You could also suggest ways that the situation could be improved.

If the situation doesn’t improve after talking to your boss, it may be necessary to escalate the issue. This could involve speaking to HR or a higher-up manager. In Australia, employers have a legal obligation to provide a safe and healthy work environment for their employees. If your boss is creating a hostile work environment, the company may be in breach of these obligations.

In an interview with HR Daily Advisor, Australian HR Manager, Fiona Anson, recommends that employees should also seek support from their colleagues and seek professional help if necessary. She also advises employees to keep a record of any meetings or conversations with HR or management about the issue.

If the situation is not resolved, you may need to consider leaving the company. This is a difficult decision, but your mental health and well-being should always be a priority. In an article for The Sydney Morning Herald, Australian career coach, Jane Jackson, suggests that employees should start looking for new job opportunities if they find themselves in a toxic workplace.

Jackson recommends that employees should be proactive in their job search and ensure that they have a strong personal brand online. She also advises employees to be prepared to answer questions about why they are leaving their current job in job interviews. It’s important to remain professional and avoid speaking negatively about your current employer.

If you do decide to leave your job, it’s essential to have a plan in place. This could include building up your savings, networking with industry contacts, and updating your resume and LinkedIn profile. It’s also important to research potential employers and ensure that they have a positive company culture.

In an article for HRD Australia, HR Manager, Naomi White, suggests that employees should seek out companies that have a clear anti-bullying policy in place. This demonstrates that the company takes workplace bullying seriously and is committed to creating a safe and healthy work environment for its employees.

It’s also important to ensure that the company has a supportive culture that encourages open communication and feedback. This can help to prevent bullying behaviour from occurring in the first place.

In conclusion, dealing with a bullying boss can be a difficult and stressful situation. However, it’s important to take action and address the issue. This could involve speaking to your boss directly, seeking support from HR or management, and documenting the bullying behaviour.

If the situation is not resolved, it may be necessary to consider leaving the company.