Posts Tagged ‘baby boomers’
Wednesday, August 27th, 2014
By Nancy Collamer, Forbes, August 25, 2014
If you saw a young child being pushed around on the playground, chances are you would intervene. But are you equally proactive when you see bullying at work?
While this may sound like a hypothetical question, it’s anything but. According to a 2014 survey conducted by the Workplace Bullying Institute (WBI), 27% of Americans have been bullied at work, 21% have witnessed it and 72% of us are aware that workplace bullying happens.
Real bullying involves more than just bad management and obnoxious behavior.
How Bullying Can Harm A Victim’s Health
It also means health-harming behaviors that can include verbal abuse, offensive conduct and intentional sabotage. And workplace bullying doesn’t just harm the victim. It leads to poor morale, high turnover and low productivity, which impact the entire organization.
The problem is now so widespread that lawmakers in 15 states have introduced legislation aimed at prodding employers to take the matter seriously or face consequences.
Why Boomers Can Be Effective
So what are you willing to do about it? I ask because many boomers are in management and as a result, some are in a good position to take action. Even if you’re not among your employer’s leadership team, you still might be able to make a difference.
If you’re well respected by colleagues, have good relations with key influencers at your employer or have strong job security, it’s likely easier for you to speak up and get management to take bullying seriously than it is for your younger co-workers.
That is an important advantage. Just like on the playground where bigger kids target weaker ones, the majority of workplace bullying is inflicted from the top down. According to the WBI survey, 56% of it is attributed to bosses, compared to 33% that’s blamed on peers. Given this inherent power imbalance, it’s no surprise that few victims stand up to their abusers.
I want to emphasize that not every boomer is in a position to stand up to workplace bullies.
Many older workers are in precarious job situations and know that if they speak up, they could be fired. That’s especially true in environments where bully behavior is a celebrated part of the workplace culture. (Wolves of Wall Street anyone?)
Tags: 2014 U.S. Workplace Bullying Survey, baby boomers, boomers & bullying, Gary Namie, research, workplace bullying, Workplace Bullying Institute
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