CareerBuilder:1 IN 4 Workers Bullied

This is one of the largest surveys to date and it provides still more evidence of the pervasiveness of unaddressed bullying in the workplace and the devastating impact that it can have upon the target and the employer. Other surveys have found a higher percentage, including the 2010 Z0gby International Survey, in which 35% of workers said they  eexperienced bullying firsthand .- PGB

Twenty-Seven Percent of Workers Bullied 

April 20, 2011 – A  CareerBuilder survey   of 5,671 U.S. workers reveals that more than one in four (27 percent) workers have felt bullied in the workplace, with most neither confronting nor reporting the bully.

The most common bully? The boss.

According to survey results, 14 percent of workers felt bullied by their immediate supervisor, while 11 percent felt bullied by a co-worker.  Seven percent said the bully was not their boss but someone else higher up in the organization, while another 7 percent said the bully was their customer.

 Bullying reports by gender and age

  • Comparing genders and age groups, the segments that were more likely than others to report feeling bullied were women, workers ages 55 or older (29 percent), and workers age 24 or younger (29 percent).
  • Women reported a higher incidence of being treated unfairly at the office.  One-third (34 percent) of women said they have felt bullied in the workplace, compared to 22 percent of men. Of course, this doesn’t mean fewer men are bullied, necessarily — just that fewer men report it. And, according to research by organizational behavior and leadership expert Denise Salin, women are more likely than men to self-label as a target of bullying.
  • Workers ages 35 to 44 were the least likely to report feeling bullied, with only one in four doing so … .

When asked to describe how they were bullied, workers pointed to the following examples:

  •      My comments were dismissed or not acknowledged (43 percent).
  •     I was falsely accused of mistakes I didn’t make (40 percent).
  •     I was harshly criticized (38 percent).
  •     I was forced into doing work that really wasn’t my job (38 percent).
  •     Different standards and policies were used for me than other workers (37 percent).
  •     I was given mean looks (31 percent).
  •     Others gossiped about me (27 percent).
  •     My boss yelled at me in front of other co-workers (24 percent).
  •     Belittling comments were made about my work during meetings (23 percent).
  •     Someone else stole credit for my work (21 percent).

 What are companies doing to combat this workplace bullying?

Twenty-eight percent of workers who were bullied brought the situation to a higher authority by reporting the bully to their Human Resources department. While 38 percent of these workers stated that measures were taken to investigate and resolve the situation, the majority of workers (62 percent) said no action was taken.

…. workplace bullying …  seems to be prevalent in organizations that support, accept or allow such behavior, or where employees feel that they can “get away with it” or where it is accepted as part of a “tough” climate.” Even worse, new employees and managers can become socialized into treating bullying as a normal feature of working life.

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