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Workplace Bullying Facts
When people talk about bullying, they are usually talking about school bullies. Or, more recently, online bullying.
There is, though, another type of bullying that is rarely talked about but is very common.
Most people would step in to stop a school bully. But the reaction to workplace bullying is very different.
Many people turn a blind eye to workplace bullying. This is often because people fear that by intervening, they might lose their own job,
We looked at what you can do if you are being bullied or intimidated at work in an earlier post.
We are also happy to recommend an excellent book on how to deal with workplace bullies. It’s written by Gary Namie Ph.D. and Ruth Namie PhD, who are the founders of the Workplace Bullying Institute.
In this post we look at some of the facts and statics for workplace bullying, many of which will surprise you.
First, though, what forms does workplace bullying take? And, what impact does it have on both the employee and the business?
What Forms Does Workplace Bullying Take?
Workplace bullying is not always easy to identify. What some people think is funny, another person might find very distressing.
Often, a workplace bully who is having “fun” at someone else’s expense will argue that it is only “workplace banter”. For the victim, though, that banter can be very hurtful.
Here are some of the forms that workplace bullying can take:
- Shouting and swearing at an employee
- Deliberately humiliating an employee
- Singling out an employer for unfair criticism
- Deliberately embarrassing an employee
- Exclusion from social activities
- Repeated practical jokes
- Threatening behavior
- Making unreasonable demands of an employee
- Fat shaming and body shaming
- Sexual harassment
- Physical Bullying
The Effects of Workplace Bullying on The Victim
Most victims of workplace bullying will put on a brave face at work. Underneath the mask, though, the story may be very different.
The effects that prolonged bullying can have on a person include:
Workplace bullying can have a serious effect on a person’s emotional well-being.
Victims of bullying may develop mental health problems. Problems such as anxiety, depression and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).
Victims of bullying often find themselves isolated at work.
Co-workers will abandon the victim because they don’t want to be associated with them. This can be because people don’t want to take sides, or they don’t want to get involved. It can also be because they don’t want to risk the bully turning their attention to them.
If the bully is a supervisor or a manager, people will steer clear of the victim for another reason. It is because of the fear that sticking up for the bullied person may put their own job at risk.
Bullying can also have an impact on the physical health of the victim.
Studies have found that people who work for bad bosses are 60% more likely to suffer with heart problems.
The stress caused by bullying can cause sleepless nights and elevated blood pressure. It may cause a lack of appetite, which can lead to further complications. In some cases, bullying can lead to excessive alcohol consumption or drug misuse.
The victims of workplace bullying often resort to quitting their jobs to escape the bully. This may be by transferring to another department or walking out of their job. This will often have a financial impact on the victim.
Because standing up to a workplace bully can be so difficult, most victims do choose to leave their job. A 2017 survey carried out by the Workplace Bullying Institute found that 65% of victims lose their jobs as a result of workplace bullying.
The Effects of Workplace Bullying on the Business
Workplace bullying also has a detrimental effect on the business. Stamping out workplace bullying in not only the right thing to do, it is also good for the business. Here some of the negative effects that bullying can have on a business:
Low Employee Morale
Workplace bullying doesn’t only affect the victim, it impacts on the whole team. It creates a toxic atmosphere in the workplace. It can make employees feel insecure about their own future in the business.
High Turnover of Staff
Recruiting and training staff is expensive. Workplace bullying can increase staff turnover, adding to the costs of the company.
If bullying is not stopped, the victims are likely to quit their job.
Other employees will also leave because of the unpleasant atmosphere in the workplace.
Victims of bullying will not be as productive as they could be. They are also likely to take more time off work.
Other workers may also reduce their work rate. They will want to keep their heads down and avoid getting noticed.
Employees will be unlikely to voice opinions or put forward new ideas, for fear of being ridiculed by the office bully.
Difficulties Hiring New Staff
If word gets around that the company is not a nice place to work, the business may experience difficulties hiring new employees.
It’s even possible that allowing a toxic work environment could impact on sales. There are a lot of people who will not buy from a business known to treat its employees badly.
Workplace Bullying – The Statistics
Workplace bullying has serious implications for both the victim and the business. Even so, it is still a common problem.
The 2017 Workplace Bullying Institute survey found that 60.4m Americans are affected by workplace bullying. 29% of the victims do not report it.
Here’s an infographic produced by Workplace Bullying Institute showing some of the key statistics relating to workplace bullying:
The takeaways from this post are simple. If you are being bullied at your work, you are not alone, and you don’t have to put up with it. We have some tips on how to do deal with workplace bullying here.
We will be looking at what employers should do to prevent workplace bullying soon. If you would like to keep up to date with what’s new on best panic alarm, please subscribe to our mailing list.
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