Human Resources News & Insights

Bullying: Coming to a workplace near you?

Bullying: It’s not just for the playground anymore. It’s in the workplace, and it’s a growing concern for employers.

According to a recent CareerBuilder survey, almost three out of 10 (27%) employees say they’ve felt bullied in the workplace — and the majority of those neither confronted nor reported the bully.

Employees most likely to feel bullied? Women, workers 55 or older, and workers 24 or younger.

One-third (34%) of women said they have felt bullied in the workplace; just 22% of their male counterparts said they’d been similarly victimized.

Looking at age: 29% of workers 55 or older and 29% of employees 24 or younger reported they had been bullied on the job.  Workers 35 to 44 were the least likely to report feeling bullied at 25%.

The most common culprit is typically the boss, according to the survey.  Fourteen percent of workers felt bullied by their immediate supervisor, while 11% felt bullied by a co-worker.  Seven percent said the bully was not their boss, but someone else higher up in the organization. Another 7% said the bully was a customer.

The study was conducted from February 21 to March 10, 2011 and included more than 5,600 full-time workers nationwide.

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  1. I wonder how many people didn’t report because they fear reprisals.

    It really gets disheartening when you report the bullying (to the owner in my case) and the reported actions are discounted and no corrective actions are taken. Guess that this is a case of lead by example and condoning the behavior.

    I have co-workers who have been here for 10-15 years who are looking for positions elsewhere as the economy improves because they are tired of “the clique” (who are not the owners) running roughshod over all of the other staff. Myself included.

  2. Getreal says:

    Shannon, you can bet a lot of bullying goes unreported because of fear of more bullying or other reprisals. Workplace bullying is especially bad when done by your boss or an owner of a small company. These people have no clue of the impact their behavior has. Even when employees are lucky enough to get out, it’s the employee’s problem because “they weren’t a very good employee anyway.” There often is no recourse but to look for employment elsewhere.

  3. HR Tennessee says:

    I reported being bullied to my boss, the owner of the company. The bullying was coming from his daughter, also an employee. He scheduled an appointment for me to see a pychiatrist. Needless to day, I found another job.

  4. Whattayamean says:

    Good for you, HR TN. I’m sure your boss believes you left because of your mental imbalance. Ever wonder how idiots like this get to own a company?

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