Oct 02, 2020

Even in the case of workplace bullying, bystanders can play a significant role. If a bystander watches harassment and doesn’t do anything about it, then he or she is not helping in promoting a positive environment at the workplace.

We all know about the role of bystanders when it comes to bullying in schools. When some children are watching and laughing about an ongoing incident of bullying, then it only encourages the bully to continue his bad behavior. It gives the bully a platform that he certainly does not deserve. Something similar can also happen at a workplace. If an employee watches another employee being bullied or harassed and doesn’t do anything about it, then he or she is also promoting such behavior at the workplace.

In my book titled “How to stand up to workplace bullying and take on an unjust employer”, I have discussed this issue in great detail. In my case I know that there were some employees who noticed that our supervisor was harassing me, but they did nothing about it. Some of them came to me later and told me how they felt about it and how it was not appropriate for our supervisor to behave like that. But when the time came for some of these witnesses to come forward and describe what they had seen, most of them simply did not want to come forward. They felt they just simply did not want to get involved with anything legal. I was fortunate that finally one person did come forward and expressed what she had seen in detail, and that had helped my case significantly.

The bottom line is that it is everyone’s responsibility to do what they can to maintain a positive environment at the workplace. No one deserves to be treated badly at a workplace and all employees have a role in this. If you see something, then go to someone and say something about it. In most places, you can do this and stay anonymous.

© 2017 - Sumi Mukherjee
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