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When people think of bullying, they often think of elementary and middle school. Very rarely do people expect to be bullied as an adult, in their place of work. However, a recent study by CareerBuilder has shown that just about 27% of the workers in the United States have felt as though they were being bullied while at work. Many of these workers did not report being bullied nor did they confront the bully about the bullying in the first place.
Bullying at work is a lot similar to bullying that occurs in schools. It represents individuals who are mistreated, verbally abused, threatened, humiliated, or even intimidates by a co-worker or several co-workers and their actions. The Workplace Bullying Institute actually exists because of such a large number of workers who felt as though they were bullied while at work.
A lot of the bullying that occurs in the workplace has much to do with power. Someone on a higher level at the office may bully an entry-level co-worker or someone who simply does not have nearly as much power because they are pretty much unable to defend themselves and stick up for what is right and wrong for fear of losing their job.
Different types of bullying take place in the workplace. In fact, about 40% of workers claim to have been accused of making mistakes that they, in fact, did not make. And, 38% of workers claimed to receive extremely harsh criticism, the same percentage of people who said they were forced to do work that they never signed up to do. Basically, some workers were forced to do work that had nothing to do with their position or what they get paid for.
And, just over 30% of workers said they received intimidating, mean look from other co-workers, along with 27% of workers who reported that their co-workers gossiped, leaving them feeling uncomfortable in their work environment.
The co-founder of the Workplace Bully Institute, Gary Namie, said that the vast majority of the bullies in the workplace are the bosses who simply lack the ability to be an efficient leader and instead use their power to humiliate and bully other people below them.
Those who are bullied at their place of work should not feel ashamed. Instead, they should take the precautionary measures to help avoid the bullying by all means necessary. Those who are bullied should keep records of the events and get an opinion from someone outside the work environment to get an idea of whether or not they are, in fact, being bullied. Bullied individuals can fight back and speak up about the bullying that is taking place at work but they need to have documents of different situations that have occurred for substantial proof and evidence.
HR Career Resources is a weekly column authored by HRCrossing, the nation's leading human resources jobsite dedicated to getting HR professionals jobs.
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February 21, 2012 Read More