Workplace bullying on the increase

4 September 2012
A new study carried out by Harris interactive has found that the number of people who feel they are bullied at work has risen to 35 per cent, up from 27 per cent last year. The study, which was commissioned by CareerBuilder, also found that while more than a third feel they are being bullied, just 16 per cent are actually reporting it, while 17 per cent are opting to quit their jobs rather than remain in post and try to resolve the issue. With the western world still very much in the throes of an economic crisis, it’s not surprising that issues like poor treatment of staff are on the increase. The study found the most common complaints include blame for mistakes they didn’t make, a lack of acknowledgement, being yelled at by the boss in front of others and being on the end of belittling comments. The finding is not altogether surprising. The economic crisis has put large numbers of people into a world of increasing pressure, decreasing returns, strained relations and generally low morale, but none of these excuse bullying, or poor treatment of your colleagues. While it may conjure up images of big burly boys stealing everybody’s lunch money, bullying can take many forms, and they’re not always easy to identify. What is a bit of harmless office banter to some might be taken as malicious targeting by others, so it’s always worth reflecting on how you treat your colleagues, because you never know how they might be taking it. If you’ve experienced it in the past, or currently, there is some good advice on the Direct Gov website. And if you’re a manager, remember, a little bit of praise (when deserved) goes a long way, and so, sadly, does the absence of it.
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