Everyone who has attended a school has had to deal with bullies. These were the kids who were so insecure they had to lash out at weaker children to build up their self-esteem. Their goal was to hide their fear by dominating others. It seems that bullies do grow up, go into the workplace, and continue their behavior. According to a CareerBuilder Study, more workers feel they’re bullied in their workplace than ever before.
The study conducted by CareerBuilder involved 3,800 workers from all over the United States. It showed 35 percent of workers feel they are bullied, which is an 8 percent increase from a study done the previous year. There were 16 percent of the bullied workers who said they suffered health problems as a result of the experience. There were about 17 percent who decided to quit their jobs to get away from being bullied. Approximately half of the bullied workers did not confront their bullies, and it was agreed that most bullying incidents are not reported.
There were 48 percent of workers who felt bullied by their bosses, and 45 percent who felt bullied by their coworkers. Around 31 percent felt they were treated badly by customers, and 26 percent claimed someone high up in their company, other than their boss, picked on them. Over half felt they were bullied by someone older than themselves, and 29 percent said the bully was someone who was younger than themselves.
There was a variety of workplace bullying behaviors cited in the study.
Types of Workplace Bullying
•Falsely accused of mistakes – 42 percent
•Ignored – 39 percent
•Used different standards and or policies toward me than other workers – 36 percent
•Constantly criticized – 33 percent
•Someone didn’t perform certain duties, which negatively impacted my work – 31 percent
•Yelled at by boss in front of coworkers – 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
Approximately half of the workplace bully victims tried to handle the bullying themselves. Out of this group 50 percent claimed the bullying stopped, but 11 percent said it only increased. Another 38 percent said the bullying didn’t change in any way. There were 27 percent of bullied worker who reported the experience to their Human Resources Department. Out of this group, only 43 percent claimed there was action taken, and 57 percent said nothing was done about it.
How to Handle Being Bullied at the Workplace
Keep record of all incidents of bullying
Be careful to document the place and time of the bullying incident. Be certain to provide the details of what happened and who was present.
Attempt to Talk to the Bully
Give the bully examples of how they are treating you unfairly. There is a chance the bully is completely unaware of how their behavior is making their coworkers feel.
Focus on a Resolution
Don’t make it personal and try to provide ways to improve the situation when discussing behavior with the bully or a company authority. Try to make the conversation about making the working situation better or how things could be improved.
In an August 29, 2012 press release, Rosemary Haefner, Vice President of Human Resources at CareerBuilder is quoted as saying “How workers define bullying can vary considerably, but it is often tied to patterns of unfair treatment. Bullying can have a significant impact on both individual and company performance. It’s important to cite specific incidents when addressing the situation with the bully or a company authority, and keep focused on finding a resolution.”
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