Bullying has graduated from schools to the office, as more employees are reporting workplace bullying. The health issues that workplace bullying can cause include anxiety and depression. A 2011 survey found that 50% of employees reported rude treatment at work at least once per week. While it’s not entirely clear why workplace bullying is on the rise, some say the troublesome economy has led bosses to take out their stress on employees.
Many workplace bullies tend to get higher scores on tests that measure narcissism and self-orientation. Yet, these bullies may still get positive evaluations that allow them to continue the abuse. What is the price that companies pay when they allow bullying to continue? The more the bullying occurs, the less engaged and productive employees are, making them more likely to leave their job. What’s more, victims who don’t leave are more likely to treat others badly and become bullies themselves. Stress levels rise and employees may end up missing more days of work.
While states are pushing for the government to pass legislation to prevent bullying in the workplace, providing the proper resources for employees can help to prevent bullying before it starts. As Dr. Michael Mantell, psychologist and author of the popular book and training video, “Ticking Bombs: Defusing Violence in the Workplace,” says, “You can’t change the bully. But you can prevent yourself from being a victim.