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Employers Can’t Afford To Ignore Workplace Bullying – by Rodger Dinwiddie


The headlines in Business Week declare “Employers Can’t Ignore Workplace Bullies.” Yet, a Workplace Bullying Institute (WBI) survey indicates that in 62% of cases, when made aware of bullying, employers worsen the problem or do nothing.

According to the WBI survey, 37% of American workers, an estimated 54 million people, have been bullied at work.  The survey further reveals bullying is four times more prevalent than illegal forms of harassment. Most Bullies, 72% in fact, are bosses. It appears the stereotype is real.
Women are targeted by bullies more frequently in 57% of cases. This was especially true in being bullied by other women in 71% of cases. The survey also points out that bullying is a health hazard. For 45% of bullied targets, stress affects their health.  And, 77% of the targets of bullying lose their jobs through firing, resignation, or transfer.

The corollary between young people’s bullying and adult bullying is fascinating.  Both adults and young people report that the responses of others are often unhelpful. Perhaps the reasons the help is not so helpful is because those who want to help really don’t know what to do. While most adults and young people don’t like the bullying they witness, they often do not intervene.

It’s time to realize that bullying is not something that just magically disappears during adolescence. As you can see from the survey by WBI bullying is something that goes on forever. At STARS we work to help young people and those who work with them take steps to stop bullying. Perhaps the work that schools and community organizations are doing now will result in fewer adults in the years to come facing the problems identified in the Workplace Bullying Institute’s survey. If we can help your school or community organization address the issue of bullying, give us a call at 615-279-0058.