Private account

Do you already have an account? Login now


Days 30
Prices from 1.495 DKK

Prices is excluding VAT

Fill in

Do you already have an account? Login now

Reset your password below

Back to login

Bullying in the workplace – well being and prevention

Bullying in the workplace

Indicative studies point out that every tenth employee in Danish workplaces reports that they have been exposed to bullying. In addition, every fourth employee reports that they have witnessed bullying.

Bullying is a severe burden for the person being bullied, but also for the workplace and the colleagues who witness the bullying. It can thus have major consequences for the psychological working environment and thus the company's overall working environment and culture.

In this article, we will therefore discuss how your workplace can end bullying.

What are the characteristics of workplace bullying?

Bullying is persistent abuse of others in the workplace. The Danish Occupational Safety and Health Administration uses the term, offensive actions, as a collective term for actions where one or more people in the company are exposed to bullying, sexual harassment or other degrading behaviour.

The Danish Working Environment Authority describes bullying in this way: "This is bullying when one or more persons regularly and over a long period of time - or repeatedly in a gross manner - exposes one or more other persons to offensive actions that the person concerned perceives as hurtful or degrading. However, the offending acts only become bullying when the persons against whom they are directed are unable to defend themselves effectively against them.”

Bullying in the workplace is often caused by the following:

  • An unresolved conflict
  • One employee stands out

If the workplace does not solve the problems in these situations, it can result in exclusion processes and thus end in bullying. Bullying in the workplace can, among other things, be expressed through:

  • Slander or gossip: The employee who is subject to bullying is spoken negatively or gossiped about
  • Belittling: The bullying victim's work effort is continuously belittled, even when others are present
  • Lack of trust: Other employees express a lack of trust in the bullied employee
  • Harsh language: The tone towards the bullying victim is violent and offensive
  • Deprivation of work tasks: The bullied person is deprived of tasks without a legitimate explanatory reason

How can you get rid of adult bullying?

It is crucial for the company's psychological working environment and culture that the management staff intervenes if it discovers bullying in the workplace. Below you will find 10 good tips on how you can get rid of bullying in your organisation:

  1. Take the lead: The way you treat your employees can inspire the other employees. Therefore, it is essential that you do not participate in bullying and protect potential bullying victims. Furthermore, it is your responsibility to show your employees that you do not accept bullying
  2. Establish a personnel policy that prevents and combats bullying
  3. Map the psychological working environment in the workplace risk assessment
  4. Be approachable and open when you have employee conversations: Here it is important that you listen for signals that may indicate that bullying is taking place. You should always take it seriously if an employee feels they are being treated badly and chooses to tell you about it
  5. Remember to listen to both the victim and the bully: Before you start drawing conclusions, you should talk to both the victim and the bully. In addition, you can try to create a dialogue between the parties. Getting a legal advice is also recommendable in this matter.
  6. Make sure that passive witnesses actively participate in getting the bully to stop any abusive behaviour
  7. Intervene as soon as you detect bullying: Problems can quickly escalate and you run the risk of employees leaving their positions as a consequence of the poor working environment. You are also be jointly responsible if you allow the bullying to continue
  8. Find simple and practical solutions
  9. Be open to your employees: It is crucial that your employees trust you. In this way, it is easier for the employees to talk to you about, for example, bullying
  10. You may be misunderstood: You should be aware that you may be misunderstood and thus be perceived as a bully yourself, when you try to deal with bullying issues
bullying in the workplace

In recent years, bullying has also started to take place online, which is why digital bullying takes place in a number of workplaces. This can be particularly problematic, as the bullied employee no longer has any “safe space" anywhere and the person therefore experiences being shamed constantly, both in front of employees, family, friends and acquaintances.

It is therefore essential  that your company cracks down on bullying and implements a culture with associated guidelines that prevent bullying in the workplace and on digital platforms.

If you would like to learn more about how to establish a healthy work environment, you can read this article: