Nearly 50 per cent of employees are bullied at work: Report

1 in 4 have left a job because of bullying

Workplace bullying is much more prevalent than we may think — nearly one-half of all workers report that they are bullied at work, according to a CareerBuilder study.

Forty-five per cent of workers said they feel they have been bullied in the workplace, according to the Canada-wide study of more than 400 workers.

More than one-quarter (26 per cent) reported they have left a job because of bullying, and the same percentage (26 per cent) said they feel they are bullied at their current job.

Bosses were cited as being the most frequent perpetrators of bullying (49 per cent), found the study. Co-workers were a close second at 47 per cent, and 32 per cent of respondents said a customer was the bully. Twenty-three per cent said someone higher up in the company — but not their direct boss — was the bully.

However, most office workers stayed silent about the bullying — only 44 per cent reported the problem to HR, and of those, 54 per cent said no action was taken to resolve the issue.

"Our results showed that, despite the prevalence of workplace bullying, many workers do not come forward to report it, and many of those who do feel their complaints aren't heard," said Mark Bania, director of CareerBuilder Canada.

"Workers should feel comfortable coming forward if they feel they are being bullied, and employers should take these complaints seriously, as they can lead to larger problems that affect not just the individual employee, but the entire organization."

What were workers’ experiences with bullying?

• They were falsely accused of making mistakes: 54 per cent

• They were ignored — their comments were dismissed or not acknowledged: 51 per cent

• The boss or co-workers constantly criticized them: 37 per cent

• Different standards or policies applied to them that didn't apply to others: 35 per cent

• They were the topic of office gossip: 35 per cent

• Co-workers made belittling comments about them during meetings: 32 per cent

• The boss yelled at them in front of other co-workers: 24 per cent

• Others purposely excluded them from projects or meetings: 21 per cent

• Others picked on them for personal attributes (e.g. race, gender, appearance): 16 per cent

• Someone stole credit for their work: 15 per cent

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