In a new study, the Workplace Bullying Institute found that 27% of Americans have suffered abusive conduct at work and another 21% have witnessed it. Overall, 72% are aware that workplace bullying happens. Bullying was defined as either repeated mistreatment or “abusive conduct.” Only 4% of workers responded that they did not believe workplace bullying occurred.
The study found that 69% of the bullies were men and they targeted women 57% of the time. The 31% of bullies who are female, however, overwhelmingly bullied other women—68% compared to 32% who mistreated men in the workplace. Identifying the perpetrators also shed light on how corporate power dynamics play a role in abusive workplace behavior. The majority of bullying came from the top (56%), while only a third came from other coworkers.
“Sadly, what stops bullying the most is requiring the target to lose her or his job,” said Gary Namie, director of the Workplace Bullying Institute. According to the survey, in 61% of cases, the bullying only stops when the target quits, is fired or forced out.
Employer reactions are failing employees—and may open many companies to costs from turnover or even legal liability:
Check out the infographic below for more insight into workplace bullying: