By GalTime Consumer Watchdog Mary Schwager
We hear all about students being bullied at school and what a tremendous and terrible effect it has their ability to concentrate and achieve--- but what about when bullying happens to adults, in the workplace?
A new study found that more workers are feeling bullied in the workplace and it's so devastating, some employees say their health is suffering, and others are even leaving their jobs!
The CareerBuilder survey of 38,000 workers nationwide found:
35% of employees said they have felt bullied at work, up from 27% last year.
16% of these workers reported they suffered health-related problems as a result of bullying
17% decided to quit their jobs to escape the situation.
The study also found nearly half of workers don't confront their bullies and the majority of incidents go unreported.
So how can you tell if you're dealing with an office bully? And what can you do about it?
Who Are the Bullies?
Of workers who felt bullied, most pointed to incidents with their bosses (48%) or coworkers (45%), while 31% have been picked on by customers, and 26% by someone higher up in the company other than their boss.
Related: The Trickle-Down Effects Of Bullying
More than half (54%) of those bullied said they were bullied by someone older than they were, while 29% said the bully was younger.
Weapons of a Workplace Bully
The most common way workers reported being bullied was getting blamed for mistakes they didn't make followed by not being acknowledged and the use of double standards. The full list includes:
Falsely accused of mistakes - 42%
Ignored - 39%
Used different standards/policies toward me than other workers - 36%
Constantly criticized - 33%
Someone didn't perform certain duties, which negatively impacted my work - 31%
Yelled at by boss in front of coworkers - 28%
Belittling comments were made about my work during meetings - 24%
Gossiped about - 26%
Someone stole credit for my work - 19%
Purposely excluded from projects or meetings - 18%
Picked on for personal attributes - 15%
"How workers define bullying can vary considerably, but it is often tied to patterns of unfair treatment," said Rosemary Haefner, Vice President of Human Resources at CareerBuilder. "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."
Standing Up to the Bully
Twenty-seven percent of workers who felt bullied reported it to their Human Resources department. Of these workers, 43% reported that action was taken while 57% said nothing was done.
If you're feeling bullied in the workplace, remember the following tips:
1. Keep record of all incidents of bullying, documenting places, times, what happened and who was present.
2. Consider talking to the bully, providing examples of how you felt treated unfairly. Chances are the bully may not be aware that he/she is making you feel this way.
3. Always focus on resolution. When sharing examples with the bully or a company authority, center the discussions around how to make the working situation better or how things could be handled differently.
This survey was conducted online within the U.S. by Harris InteractiveC on behalf of CareerBuilder among 3,892 U.S. workers (employed full-time, not self-employed, non-government) ages 18 and over between May 14 and June 4, 2012 (percentages for some questions are based on a subset, based on their responses to certain questions). With a pure probability sample of 3,892, one could say with a 95 percent probability that the overall results have a sampling error of +/-1.57 percentage points. Sampling error for data from sub-samples is higher and varies.
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