Saturday, September 08, 2007

Workplace Bullying

What is workplace bullying? It's harmful mistreatment of people with verbal abuse, threatening, humiliating or offensive behavior, or sabotage that prevents work from getting done.

Workplace bullying

(a) is driven by perpetrators' need to control the targeted individual(s);

(b) is initiated by bullies who choose targets, timing, place and methods;

(c) escalates to involve others who side with the bully, either voluntarily through coercion; and

(d) undermines legitimate business interests when bullies' personal agendas take precedence over work itself.

Some scary results for those of trying to survive the workday without being bullied:

  • 37% of American workers, an estimated 54 million people, have been bullied at work.
  • Bullying affects half (49%) of American workers, 71.5 million workers, when witnesses are included.
  • Bullying is 4 times more prevalent than illegal forms of "harassment."
  • 72% of bullies are bosses. 55% of those bullied are rank-and-file workers.
  • Women are targeted by bullies more frequently (in 57% of cases), especially by other women (in 71% of cases).
  • Only 3% of bullied targets file lawsuits. 40% never complain.

    The Workplace Bullying Institute offers telephone counseling for those who are bullied. It looks like it costs a $25 donation. Other resources on bullying may be helpful.