One-in-four workers have felt bullied at work: Survey

When HR advised, 62 per cent of workers said no help provided
||Last Updated: 04/25/2011

More than one-quarter (27 per cent) of workers in the United States have felt bullied in the workplace, with the majority neither confronting nor reporting the bully, according to a CareerBuilder survey.

Women reported a higher incidence of being treated unfairly at the office, with 34 per cent saying they have felt bullied compared to 22 per cent of men, found the survey of 5,671 full-time workers.

Looking at age, 29 per cent of workers age 55 or older and 29 per cent of workers age 24 or younger reported they had been bullied on the job, the highest among age groups. Workers age 35 to 44 were the least likely to report feeling bullied, at 25 per cent.

The most common culprit is typically the boss, according to the survey. Fourteen per cent of workers felt bullied by their immediate supervisor while 11 per cent felt bullied by a co-worker. Seven per cent said the bully was someone higher up in the organization while another seven per cent said the bully was a customer.

Although bullies can be intimidating, 47 per cent of workers said they confronted the bully about her actions. Of these workers, 43 per cent said the bullying stopped, 13 per cent reported the bullying became worse while 44 per cent said the bullying stayed the same. Of those who didn’t report the bully, 21 per cent said it was because they feared the bullying would escalate.

Nearly three-in-ten workers (28 per cent) took their concerns to a higher authority and reported the bully to their human resources department, found CareerBuilder. While 38 per cent of these workers said measures were taken to investigate and resolve the situation, 62 per cent said no action was taken.

Types of bullying:

• “My comments were dismissed or not acknowledged” (43 per cent)

• ‘I was falsely accused of mistakes I didn’t make” (40 per cent)

• “I was harshly criticized” (38 per cent)

• “I was forced into doing work that really wasn’t my job” (38 per cent)

• “Different standards and policies were used for me than other workers” (37 per cent)

• “I was given mean looks” (31 per cent)

• “Others gossiped about me” (27 per cent)

• “My boss yelled at me in front of other co-workers” (24 per cent)

• “Belittling comments were made about my work during meetings” (23 per cent)

• “Someone else stole credit for my work” (21 per cent)

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