1 in 3 workers are bullying victims, and bosses know it, survey says
We hear a lot about school bullying, but a new survey finds better than one in three office workers say they have experienced bullying on the job.
The survey from Office Team polled 300 office workers and found 35 percent have experienced bullying. Dora Onyschak is a branch manager of the firm's Woodbridge office who said many managers are aware that it's going on.
"About 27 percent of those HR managers said that they think that office bullying is happening at their place of employment," Onyschak said, calling that "an interesting statistic."
Some other information from the workplace bullying survey: in response to bullying the survey showed 32 percent of workers confronted the bully. Another 27 percent told a manager. Also, 13 percent said they quit their job, something Onyschak called, "sad." Another 17 percent did absolutely nothing. They kind of live with it and accept it.
She said some workplace bullying goes on "under the radar" because many workers feel uncomfortable admitting it or seeking out their boss about bullying.
"I think first, managers need to realize that one of the reasons that office bullying is not as well known as maybe school bullying that we have heard about is because not a lot of people feel comfortable admitting or going to their managers to admit that they have been bullied," Onyschak said. "So as a manager, we really need to look out for negative behaviors in all of our employees so that we can resolve them, and make sure that they do not impact morale or productivity or turn into bullying."
The Workplace Bullying Institute defines bullying as threatening, humiliating or intimidating behavior, work interference.
"I also think whether a bully realizes that they are a bully or not is a big factor in this, because I think workplaces are competitive to begin with," Onyschak said.
She said everyone wants to be the guy or girl that does the best work, that shows the best product. So that could be one of the reasons that bullying happens in the workplace. Just a competitive streak that we all have.
And Onyschak said there are some people that sit back and don't mind taking the backseat. But there are many others than want to be that, "shining star."
OfficeTeam offers five tips to help employees who are victims of workplace bullying:
- Take a stand: Show confidence and stick up for yourself.
- Talk it out: Have a one-on-one discussion with the person bullying you. That person may be unaware of how his or her actions are hurting others.
- Keep your cool: Stay calm and be professional, rather than being confrontational with the bully.
- Document the bullying: Keep a record of bullying incidents, including what was said or done and when it took place.
- Seek support from management: If the issue is too serious to resolve on your own, contact your manager or HR department for help.
Joe Cutter is the afternoon news anchor on New Jersey 101.5. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org