Workplace Bullying – A Dangerous New Trend?

It used to be that bullying in the playground was something you had to deal with silently. If you were one of the unlucky kids who got picked on, you just had to tough it out and hope things would get better. Thankfully these days schools, parents, even many students are taking a stand against bullying and making a real dent in the frequency and intensity with which children are victimized.

Now a new study suggests we might need to do something about bullying that goes on long after we’ve left the playground. CareerBuilder conducted a study that shows bullying in the workplace is on the rise. The study found 35 percent of workers are bullied at work, an 8 percent increase from last year. And not unlike the school days, victims of bullying are highly affected. Out of those who reported being picked on, 17 percent said they quit their jobs whereas 16 percent reported developing health problems.

So what does bullying in the workplace look like? The study outlined some common ways in which workers reported feeling victimized, such as being falsely accused of mistakes, constantly criticized, yelled at by the boss in front of co-workers, belittled about their work during meetings, gossiped about, ignored, having different standards used towards them and picked on for personal attributes. Additionally, the bullying occurred at all levels of the company. Although most of the workers who felt bullied pointed to their bosses or co-workers, others also said they’ve been victimized by customers or someone higher up in the company than their bosses. Some even said their tormenters were persons younger than them.

Thankfully there are ways to deal with the problem without handing in your two weeks notice. CareerBuilder offers tips for taking action. Keeping a record of all bullying incidents, including places, times and details about the interaction is a good way to start. Talk the situation out with the bully, using the examples and why you think the treatment was unfair. Sometimes the bully might not even be aware his actions are making you feel a certain way. Finally, focus on resolution. Whether it is with the bully or a company authority, focus the discussion on how to better the situation and what you think can be done differently.

Are you or have you ever been bullied at work? Talk about it in the comments below and tell us what you did or plan to do about the situation.

To see the whole study, click here.