March 15, 2015
Wrapping up our blog series Workplace Bullying: 6 Facts to Know, below is some more essential information regarding this hot-button issue.
Workplace Bullying: Here’s What Else You May Need to Know
Fact 5 – Workplace bullying often goes unreported.
While we’ve noted previously in this blog that as many as 33 percent of American workers are the targets of workplace bullying, researchers believe that these numbers may actually be much higher, as there are likely far more unreported cases of workplace bullying.
Some of the various reasons that people may not report workplace bullying can include that:
- They fear retaliation, particularly if the bully is their direct supervisor and/or there is a culture of bullying that is well-established in a given work environment.
- They don’t know how or where to report workplace bullying.
- Their companies don’t have resources to address or effectively deal with workplace bullying.
Here, it’s also noteworthy to point out that some are concerned that unreported cases of workplace bullying may increase in the future, as researchers have found that:
- Gen Y-ers (i.e., people who are 18 to 34) are less likely to have close friendships with coworkers.
- Close friendships with coworkers are often key to reporting workplace bullying, as well as to limiting the serious impacts of it on an individual.
Fact 6 – Workplace bullying is preventable.
Although the facts presented thus far about workplace bullying have been more negative, this one adds a positive note to the conversation, as there are things that can be done to stop workplace bullying and prevent it from harming workers and businesses on a whole.
Just some of the prevention efforts that may work (according to researchers and workplace safety experts) include (but are by no means limited to):
- Conducting regular training sessions on workplace bullying so that employees know what it is and when to report it
- Setting up HR programs and/or specific HR employees that deal with workplace bullying (and that can confidentially accept reports about it)
- Instituting zero-tolerance policies regarding workplace bullying.
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