Psychological abuse in the workplace, also known as emotional abuse or mental abuse, refers to the use of non-physical means to control, intimidate, or manipulate an employee. It can take many forms, including verbal or written communication, gestures, or other forms of behaviour.
Examples of psychological abuse in the workplace include:
- Constant criticism or belittling of an employee’s work or abilities.
- Isolation or exclusion from work-related activities or opportunities.
- Public humiliation or embarrassment.
- Threats of termination or other negative consequences for not complying with demands.
- Setting impossible standards or goals.
- Unwarranted surveillance or monitoring of an employee’s work or activities.
- Ignoring or dismissing an employee’s complaints or concerns.
Psychological abuse can have serious negative effects on an employee’s mental health and well-being, leading to symptoms such as anxiety, depression, and stress. It can also lead to decreased job satisfaction, decreased productivity, and increased turnover.
It’s important for employers to recognise the signs of psychological abuse and take steps to prevent it from occurring in the workplace. This includes setting clear policies and guidelines for appropriate behaviour, providing training on the topic, and taking swift action when an employee reports abuse.
Employees who feel they are being subjected to psychological abuse should speak with a supervisor, manager or human resources representative. They also have the option to file a complaint with the appropriate government agency or to seek legal advice.
In conclusion, psychological abuse in the workplace is a serious issue that can have severe consequences for employees and organisations. Employers should take steps to prevent it, and employees should speak up if they believe they are being subjected to it.