Workplace harassment or moral harassment is known as mobbing , in English “harassment” . This term includes both the action of a harasser or harassers conducive to producing fear or terror in the affected worker towards their workplace, as well as the effect or illness that it produces in the worker. The person or persons affected suffer unjustified psychological violence through negative and humiliating acts in their work activity by their colleagues, whether they have a lower or higher rank (in this case we speak of bossing) for a long time, such as months, even years. The injuries are psychological, not physical.

The goal of bullies is to upset a coworker so that they finally quit work. The Swedish scientist Heinz Leymann made different studies on this phenomenon in the 1980s, and he was the one who used the word mobbing for the first time to refer to it. The latest studies ensure that 9% of Spaniards suffer workplace harassment in their company.

On many occasions, workplace harassment can be confused with burn-out syndrome . This is produced by stress caused by specific circumstances and by small problems with a certain colleague or colleague at the time of work. It is very common in teachers and nurses.

Different forms of workplace harassment

In most cases it includes:

-Yelling, bullying or insulting the victim alone or in the presence of other people

-Overloading the victim with a lot of work and assigning him objectives in time periods impossible to achieve

-Continuously threatening the victim

-Ignore the victim, make him void

– Intentionally not informing the victim of their responsibilities correctly and then blaming her for not having done her job well

-Defame the victim, spreading malicious rumors about her through the company

-Ridicule the victim’s work

-Steal key items for your work

-Critify the victim for their personal convictions, ideology, religion or sexuality (in this it would also speak of homophobia)

What to do if a colleague is harassed to work? How to help stop it

– If we observe that a colleague is suffering workplace harassment in our company, the first thing we must do is not to normalize the situation. Many times mobbing begins with comments that seem harmless and then increases over time. If the victim is not aware of the harassment he is suffering, we must help by talking to him and making it clear what is happening .

– At all times we must be understanding with the victim and communicate that we want to help him . It is about listening to him to understand how he may be feeling and to prevent him from being alone. The victim may not come near us because the situation she is experiencing has made her an insecure and distrustful person, so we should approach and talk to her.

– In most cases, people who suffer workplace harassment do not dare to communicate with their superiors or feel too ashamed to admit that they are experiencing a case of mobbing. We must try to convince the victim to make the decision to report the situation to their superiors , since the company management, together with the personnel manager and the unions, are the only ones capable of stopping the mobbing because it is a crime. type of harassment that occurs in the workplace.

– In the last case and if there is no other remedy, we must be the ones to contact those responsible for human resources to report the mobbing. This last option occurs when the harassment reaches a level of worrying severity , the victim refuses to report herself under any circumstances and is the only way to help. 

Elle Mcdonald

I am Elle Mcdonald Specializations in Psychology . Graduated in psychology from the University of Tennessee in 2000. Diploma of Advanced Studies in the Department of Personality, Evaluation and psychological treatments with excellent results.

First Level of Master in Clinical Psychology at the Center for Behavioral Therapists (recognized with a scientific-professional nature by the College of Psychologists)

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