That Workplace Bully Damages More People than his Direct Victim

by on July 1, 2009 · 0 Comment POSTED IN: HR Info Center

A Workplace Bully Brings Down Everybody

Got a workplace bully at your company? If so, they’re likely hurting more than the people they push around. New research shows bullying in the workplace also affects the jobs of those who witness it. In other words, bullying is a toxin that spreads throughout a workforce. A survey of some 400 American workers found that 28% met the researchers’ definition of “bullied” at work. They defined bullying as two or more negative acts at least weekly for six months, in situations where the victims were powerless to stop the workplace bully. Interestingly, only about a third of these people defined themselves as bullying victims. So if a manager or HR person had asked them if they were being bullied, they’d have said “no.”

Even more surprising were the findings about those who observe the bullying of others. The study found that job satisfaction was lower, and stress higher, among witnesses to bullying than among unexposed people.
Bottom line: You may want to consider a tough anti-bullying policy.

Source: “Burned by Bullying,” by Pamela Lutgen-Sandvik, in the Journal of Management Studies.

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