Most workers, even those who love their jobs, would probably say their job has caused them stress at some point writes Debra Auerbach in Workplace bullying on the rise, according to new study (Adapted choosen excerpts by JMM to follow)
Throw in job insecurity, an increased workload and intensified pressure to perform, and stress levels can hit the roof. On top of that, some workers may also be faced with workplace bullying.
While workplace bullying isn’t new, it is becoming more prevalent. According to a new CareerBuilder study, 35 percent of workers said they have felt bullied at work, up from 27 percent last year.
Bullying can cause more harm than hurt feelings or bruised egos; 17 percent of the workers who said they’ve felt bullied also reported that they quit their jobs to escape the situation. Sixteen percent said they suffered health problems as a result.
The profile of a bully
The study, which included more than 3,800 workers nationwide, revealed that bullies can be found at all levels within a company. Of workers who felt bullied, most pointed to incidents with their bosses (48 percent) or co-workers (45 percent). Thirty-one percent say they have been picked on by customers and 26 percent by someone higher up in the company other than their boss. Fifty-four percent of those bullied said they were tormented by someone older, while 29 percent said the bully was younger.
Words used as weapons
While bullying can sometimes be physical, words can also wound. Workers reported being bullied in the following ways:
- Falsely accused of mistakes — 42 percent
- Ignored — 39 percent
- Used different standards or policies toward me than other workers — 36 percent
- Constantly criticized — 33 percent
- Someone didn’t perform certain duties, which hurt my work — 31 percent
- Yelled at by boss in front of co-workers — 28 percent
- Belittling comments were made about my work during meetings — 24 percent
- Gossiped about — 26 percent
- Someone stole credit for my work — 19 percent
- Purposely excluded from projects or meetings — 18 percent
- Picked on for personal attributes — 15 percent
It takes courage to confront a bully or report the aggressor to human resources, but speaking up is often the only way to stop it.
Bullied workers have handled the situation in different ways:
- 49 percent of victims reported confronting the bully themselves.
- 50 percent of those who confronted the bully said the bullying stopped; 11 percent said it got worse; 38 percent said the bullying didn’t change.
- 27 percent reported it to their HR department.
- 43 percent of those who reported it to HR said action was taken; 57 percent said nothing was done.
Jacqueline Power, an assistant professor of management at the University of Windsor’s Odette School of Business, has spent years researching bullies in the workplace. She says 40 per cent of Canadians has experienced one or more acts of workplace bullying at least once a week for the last six months.
Power said workplace bullying includes withholding information from a person, excluding staff from meetings, threats and intimidation.
Power called it “a serious problem.”
Workplace bullying stats:
In 1999, the International Labour Organization declared workplace harassment and violence one of the most serious problems facing the workforce in the new millennium. At the time, 75 per cent surveyed said they were bullied at work.
The Canadian Safety Council reports that 75 per cent of victims of bullying leave their jobs and that workplace is four times more common than sexual harassment or workplace discrimination.
“It leads to higher turnover and higher rates of sickness,” she said. “It reduces people’s levels of self confidence.”
Power said workplace bullying is “virtually never reported” to management.
“It’s partly because when people do report bullying in the workplace, they don’t get much support,” Power said.
Choosen excerpts by Job Market Monitor from
10 Signs You’re Being Bullied At Work
1. Work Means Misery
If you often feel like throwing up or are particularly anxious the night before the start of your workweek, there’s a good chance you’re experiencing workplace bullying, experts say. While few people look forward to Mondays, they shouldn’t cause you to feel physically ill.
2. Constant Criticism
If the criticism from your boss or co-worker never seems to stop, despite your history of objective competence and even excellence, a bully might be to blame. Workplace bullies also tend to have a different standard in mind for their targets, experts say.
3. Lots Of Yelling
Overt workplace bullies tend to make their feelings known by yelling. If you are frequently screamed at, insulted or humiliated in front of others, you’re probably being bullied.
4. Remembering Your Mistakes
If your boss or co-worker seems to keep a file of your mistakes and constantly refer to them for no constructive reason, you’re likely being bullied. Falsely accusing you of errors is another common tactic.
5. Gossip And Lies
A covert office bully is more likely to spread destructive gossip and lies about you and your performance, rather than scream at you in front of your co-workers. Failing to stop the spread of a rumor can be an act of bullying, too.
6. You’re Not Invited To Lunch Or Meetings
If you feel like you’re being singled out and/or isolated by your co-workers or boss, socially or physically, you are probably being bullied, experts say. That can mean having your desk moved or not being invited to meetings or even lunch.
7. You Always Need Mental Health Days
If it seems like all of your paid time off is being used for mental health breaks to get away from the misery of your office, it could be because you’re being bullied. Other signs include spending your days off feeling lifeless or your family members showing frustration over your constant obsessing about work.
A workplace bully may try to find ways to ensure that you fail at your job. Examples include changing rules on the fly that apply to your work or not performing tasks crucial to your success, such as signing off on details or taking calls.
9. Impossible Schedule
A workplace bully won’t hesitate to change your schedule to make your life more difficult. If your boss always schedules last-minute late meetings on the days when he knows you’re taking night classes or you have to pick up the kids, for instance, he or she may be a bully.
10. Stolen Work
You’ve been working day and night for weeks on a project that’s now getting good buzz at your office. If your boss or co-worker steals the credit, and has a habit of doing so, you’re being bullied.
Choosen excerpts by Job Market Monitor from
The death of teen Amanda Todd has shone a spotlight on bullying of the young, but experts say the bullying phenomenon spans cradle to casket, with older workers in particular being “at considerable risk” of victimization. Research by the Workplace Bullying Institute finds nearly one-third of people between the ages of 50 and 64 have … Continue reading »