According to a Securex study from January 2019, more than one in three Belgian workers feel that they are victims of harassment in the workplace and this has continued to increase compared to 2017.
Depression, loss of self-esteem and self-esteem, burn-out or, in the most severe cases, severe depression:Harassment in the workplace is now a reality that affects many workers.
That's why Meet My Job gives you practical tips on how to defend yourself and deal with this situation!
Take a step back and avoid feeling guilty!
When you experience harassment at work from someone, it's important not to let yourself be destabilized. Indeed, the harasser first seeks to devalue your work and make you lose self-confidence.
Remember that you are never responsible for your harassment and should not feel guilty about it. You are the victim of this situation and not the culprit.
It is therefore important for you to take a step back from the situation, it is difficult but it is an essential element to avoid falling into the trap of harassment. Try to write down all the little details that contribute to your harassment, such as murderous remarks, being sidelined during or outside meetings...
If the stalker persists in these attacks, don't retaliate directly.
Sometimes it's hard not to react to an unfounded remark or a virulent attack. However, you must not react in a hurry because your harasser is just waiting for that. He's trying to get hold of you because it's a kind of "game" for him.
So you have to be indifferent to him : try to keep smiling, to respond to these remarks with humor, as if it doesn't affect you.
If he attacks you on your work: try to be professionally irreproachable : respect the deadlines of your projects, be conscientious, avoid being late or provoking conflicts. This way, you will be unassailable on this level and the harasser will not be able to criticize you for your work.
If workplace harassment continues, confront the person in a face-to-face interview!
Despite your indifference, the person who is harassing you continues, so it is important to confront them directly and frankly.
You should not accuse him directly, as he may deny your reproaches outright. Ask them for concrete explanations of their attitude, with specific arguments and testimonies from people if possible.
If you take the step of going directly to meet him, he should feel less strong in front of you. They will understand that they are unmasked and will likely be taken aback by your insurance. You have to make it clear to him in a firm and courteous way that you know how to defend yourself and you will not be isolated in this matter if he continues to act.
Does the stalker continue anyway? You need to inform the people in your company.
After this explanation with you, he continues to harass you. You need to talk to your superiors directly. Talk to someone who is aware of harassment, such as the human resources manager, the occupational physician or the staff representative.
But before you tell your boss, try to collect evidence of your harassment. Emails, letters, testimonies from colleagues, specific actions against you, even audio recordings if you are missing elements.
Cases of harassment in the workplace are numerous and sometimes difficult to detect. Collecting evidence of your harassment will allow you to have more credibility with your superiors.
In addition, these elements will be useful in court if you plan to file a complaint against your harasser.
Harassment at work affects your health: drastic measures are needed!
The situation becomes catastrophic, your mental and physical health deteriorates, and you are at your wit's end. It is important to protect yourself by getting out of this toxic situation, there are several possibilities for this:
- You can request a transfer to another department, where you will not be in contact with your harasser.
- You can take a sabbatical, even if it requires financial means. This leave will allow you to recharge your batteries, rest and perhaps look for a new employer.
- You can take sick leave if you are too affected by the situation. You will need to consult your general practitioner, the occupational physician and talk to your human resources manager.
- Finally, you can resign from your position and leave the company. Even if the harasser will still be in the company, it is sometimes the only solution to avoid worsening your condition. Before making this decision, think about your different options (resignation, negotiated dismissal, amicable termination of the employment contract, etc.).
Don't know how to do it? Ask a lawyer specialising in labour law for advice: he or she will be able to help you through this ordeal!
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