Workplace bullying can be found in all kinds of workplaces and across all industries. It leaves behind scars for employees it should never have made if their supervisor had taken appropriate action.
You could have a situation where a good employee falls out of love with their job and decides to move on, or they absorb the stress of dealing with a problem colleague and end up ill.
Don’t let those terrible things happen to your team! Identify types of workplace bullies with the help of this post and take actions immediately before it’s too late.
8 common types of workplace bullies
1. The Screaming Mimi
This loud and obnoxious type of people is among the most popular types of workplace bullies. The Screaming Mimis thrive on the notion that others are scared of them, and they’re the most difficult employees to handle.
The Screaming Mimi often screams, scolds, and shows anger at others. Sometimes they show aggressive body language. They tend to make a fuss in crowded or public places, spreading intimidation and threats not only to one person.
2. The Backstabber
Among types of workplace bullies, the backstabber is the most difficult to figure out. The backstabber usually acts like a trustworthy person and a friendly colleague. But we don’t know exactly what they’re planning or doing behind our backs.
This person often criticizes the victim’s personality and ability in private conversations with managers and other colleagues, while acting as close friends with the victim. This takes down the victim’s reputation, and if managers believe the backstabber, worse things can happen to the victim.
The backstabber causes internal conflicts within the company and breaks the team unity. Other employees may feel unsafe and uncomfortable knowing the backstabber is around.
3. The Small-Order
These people like to ask for help and give small orders such as buying food, bringing them water, printing documents, etc. They often target new hires and interns. It’s OK to ask for a favor once, but we all know it’s not OK if this happens too many times.
4. The Critics
These people always criticize every single thing others do and pinpoint the smallest flaws in your work. And they aren’t afraid to let others know about your mistakes, with exaggeration sometimes.
5. The Bosses
This type of workplace bullies wants absolute control of their targets. They often appear kind at first in order to gain the victim’s trust. After that, they start manipulating the victim, asking them to do this and do that. They act like bosses disguised in the form of a senior employee and an experienced colleague.
6. The Narcissist
These people take themselves very seriously and often dismiss people’s opinions. They silence others’ ideas and are conservative with their own, even when their opinions aren’t optimal. These individuals tend to try to put others down to make them stand out.
7. The Gossiper
Gossipers often gossip about colleagues and spread false information behind their backs. They can exaggerate the truth and make up dramatic stories to get people’s attention. A little bit of rumor seems to be harmless, but when the story gets out of control, it’ll lead to unexpected consequences.
8. The Clique
Forming cliques at work has a detrimental effect on employee morale, especially those who don’t belong to the group. Cliques often contain all types of bullying, from backstabbing, gossiping, and rumor-spreading, and many more.
How to deal with different types of workplace bullies
It’s difficult for a leader to handle all the issues happening in the workplace, especially the behind-the-scene and beyond-your-radar dramas. But you can still apply the below tips for preventing and dealing with workplace bullying.
Create policies regarding bullying in the workplace. List out behaviors that are considered bullying. State what consequences bullies have to face if they cross the line.
Hold training sessions in which you inform employees about what to do when facing bullying and how bullying affects individuals and businesses. You should also over-communicate that your company has zero tolerance towards unkind and damaging behaviors.
Be open and make room for private conversations with your staff. This way you can find out if someone’s suffering at work. But be careful and don’t believe in any complaints immediately. Remember the backstabbers?
Instead of replying to employees’ complaints with simple phrases such as “I will look into it!”, “I will talk to them”, justify your words by action. Make your employees feel they’re protected and you’re actually doing the right things.
Talk to the bullies to find out why they exhibited such behaviors towards their colleagues. Try to resolve any misunderstanding that may lead to cruel actions. And if you can’t change the situation for the better, refer to the policies you’ve set and impose the necessary discipline.
To put it simply, just stick to the company’s policies, keep your ear to the ground to spot patterns of bullying, and take actions as soon as possible.
Bullying can happen anywhere, even at your company. It comes in all shapes and sizes, leaving nothing but damage to your people and your business.
If you want your employees to stay safe and happy in their job, then it’s crucial that you recognize types of workplace bullies and take timely actions.
Read more about how to prevent workplace bullying here.