There Are Too Many Workplace Bullies

More than one third of American workers have experienced an office bully, according to new research from staffing firm OfficeTeam.

That’s far too many.

OfficeTeam interviewed workers and human resources professionals across the country recently, and found that their views on the prevalence of workplace bullying was eerily similar.

About 35% of workers had experienced an office bully, while 27% of human resources (HR) managers believed that workplace bullying was happening “at least somewhat” often at their companies.

Given that HR managers are tasked, (to a large extent), with dealing with workplace bullies, it is interesting that so many of them admit to having such individuals in their midst.

So, what did the effected workers do about their bully problem?

Around 32% of the workers said they confronted the bully, while 27% told a manager. Thirteen percent said they quit the job in response, while 17% did nothing.

The experts at OfficeTeam are offering these five tips for workers who find themselves victims of workplace bullying:

  1. Take a stand. Avoid being an easy target. Bullies often back off if you show confidence and stick up for yourself.
  2. Talk it out. Have a one-on-one discussion with the bully, providing examples of behaviors that made you feel uncomfortable. It’s possible the person is unaware of how his or her actions are negatively affecting others.
  3. Keep your cool. As tempting as it is to go tit-for-tat, don’t stoop to the bully’s level. Stay calm and professional.
  4. Document poor conduct. Maintain a record of instances of workplace bullying, detailing what was said or done by the individual.
  5. Seek support. If the issue is serious or you aren’t able to resolve it on your own, alert your manager or HR department for assistance.

Item #1 is a time-honored tactic, since bullies are invariably cowards who prey on those whom they believe to be easy targets. If the victim does nothing, the bully wins.

So, whichever of these approaches, (or combinations thereof) you choose, by all means do something. Allowing a bully to have his/her way with you will only stress you out, and ensure that the bullying will continue.

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