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Workplace Bullying More Common than You Think

When you’re the victim of workplace bullying, you may feel like you’re all alone. Unfortunately, a new survey by CareerBuilder.ca shows that you have more company than you may think.

According to the survey, which was conducted by Harris Interactive from May 14 to June 4, 2012 and included more than 550 workers from across Canada:

  • 45% of workers said they’ve felt bullied at work
  • A third reported suffering health-related problems due to bullying
  • 26% decided to quit their jobs to escape the situation
  • Most incidents go unreported.

Who Are the Bullies’

Of workers who felt bullied, workers identified their bullies as:

  • Co-workers (24%)
  • Their boss (23%)
  • Customers (17%)
  • Someone higher up in the company other than their boss (17%).

As for demographics, 55% of those bullied said they were bullied by someone older than them; 26% said the bully was younger.

A Workplace Bully’s Weapons

The ways workers reported being bullied include:

  • Used different standards/policies toward me than other workers – 50%
  • Ignored – 49%
  • Falsely accused of mistakes – 47%
  • Constantly criticized – 36%
  • Belittling comments were made about my work during meetings – 30%
  • Someone didn’t perform certain duties, which negatively impacted my work – 30%
  • Gossiped about – 29%
  • Someone stole credit for my work – 25%
  • Yelled at by the boss in front of co-workers – 24%
  • Purposely excluded from projects or meetings – 22%
  • Picked on for personal attributes – 20%

Confronting the Bully

It was heartening to see that more than half (54%) of victims reported confronting the bully themselves, although 46% didn’t. Of those who confronted the bully, 43% said the bullying stopped, while 14% said it got worse and 44% said it didn’t change at all. A third of workers who felt bullied reported it to their HR department.

OHS Insider Resources

For information, tools and resources on workplace bullying and other forms of workplace violence and harassment, go to the OHS Insider’s Workplace Violence Compliance Centre, which contains, among other things:

And you can go to Safety Smart for safety talks on:

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