If you think people outgrow bullying behavior just because they get older, think again. Bullies come in all ages, shapes and sizes – and on all rungs of the corporate ladder.
Remarkably, bullying in the workplace is among the leading reasons for employees to seek other employment. Even more remarkably, most don’t list bullying as the reason they quit.
Instead, they suffer in silence and take their talents elsewhere.
And “suffer” they do. Scholars at The Project for Wellness and Work-Life at Arizona State University found “workplace bullying is linked to a host of physical, psychological, organizational, and social costs.” Their research indicated that stress is the most predominant health effect associated with bullying in the workplace: “Stress has significant negative effects that are correlated to poor mental health and poor physical health, resulting in an increase in the use of ‘sick days’ or time off from work.”
Can any company afford that?
In a CareerBuilder survey of over 5,600 full-time employees, 27 percent of workers said they have felt bullied in the workplace. Most of them didn’t confront the offender nor report the abusive behavior. What form did the bullying take? Workers gave these examples:
Does any of this sound familiar?
Management is responsible for keeping the workplace free of sexual, racial or other forms of harassment and inappropriate behavior. If an issue is reported, reasonable action should
follow. Unfortunately, sometimes the manager is the bully. If that manager has a manager, the victim needs to go to that level. They might be doing the company a huge favor by exposing the reason why so many good people in that department are heading for the hills.
The victims of bullying have to take responsibility – it’s not safe to assume anyone else is aware of the bullying if they don’t report the problem. Bullies are notoriously sneaky. They pick and choose their targets carefully. But that doesn’t mean you’re helpless to do anything if you’re a victim.
Take charge by following these guidelines:
Mackay’s Moral: If you’re being bullied, take the bull by the horns before there’s a stampede.
Seven-time, New York Times best-selling author of "Swim With The Sharks Without Being Eaten Alive," with two books among the top 15 inspirational business books of all time, according to the New York Times. He is one of America’s most popular and entertaining business speakers, and currently serves as Chairman at the MackayMitchell Envelope Company, one of the nation’s major envelope manufacturers, producing 25 million envelopes a day.
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