August 30th, 2014
By Jacob Shriar – Officevibe – August 27, 2014
Workplace bullying is a serious issue.
It’s an issue that I don’t think gets enough attention, considering how big of a problem it is.
I was really shocked and surprised when I learned at how often bullying in the workplace takes place.
A recent survey by the Workplace Bullying Institute shed some important light on this issue.
Let’s look at some of the more interesting numbers from the survey:
- 27% of Americans have suffered abusive conduct at work
- 21% have witnessed bullying
- 56% of the time it was from the top-down (more on this later)
- Hispanics and African american workers experience more of the bullying
- Most employers either deny or discount the bullying
- 38% of co workers did nothing (although I don’t blame them)
These numbers are incredible.
The 2 numbers that really stick out at me, are the fact that 56% of the time, it comes from a manager or senior leader, and that most employers deny or discount (25% and 16% respectively).
This is why I’m such a big fan of having a flat hierarchy. It’s been proven many times that power corrupts, and so it doesn’t surprise me that most of the bullying comes from someone in a higher position of power than you.
For the employer to hide or discount it as not being serious is so stupid. It’s incredibly serious, because it has a major effect on your company culture.
According to a study from the Sauder School of Business at UBC, workers who witness bullying have a stronger urge to quit than those who experience it firsthand.
A lot of people don’t stop to think about this. The bullying doesn’t only affect the person that was bullied. It has a terrible effect on morale. And as the study showed, just witnessing workplace bullying gets people to want to quit.
This is what happened to me personally at a company I used to work for.