Workplace Bullying Affects Workplace Employees

I have been bullied several times in the corporate arena and I was shocked to find the below statistics of workplace bullying;

"Half of the American workforce has experienced or witnessed workplace bullying, according to a recent survey. As part of “Freedom from Workplace Bullies Week,” organizations are urged to review how they address bullying in their own workplace.

The nonprofit Workplace Bullying Institute (WBI) released results from its Workplace Bullying Survey that indicate bullying is a prevalent issue in the workplace. Here are some of the highlights from the survey:

35% of workers have experienced bullying firsthand
15% witnessed bullying
62% of bullies are men
58% of targets are women
68% of bullying is same-gender harassment
What is Workplace Bullying? Workplace bullying is the “deliberate, repeated and hurtful mistreatment” of a co-worker or subordinate, with the purpose of undermining that person’s sense of competence. Bullying can have many negative effects on the workplace as a whole, as well as employees’ health.

Workplace Environment. Bullying in the workplace can lead to a drop in morale, decreased productivity, high turnover rates, and increased risk of legal liability for claims such as harassment. These problems are not only annoying for HR to deal with, but also have a significant impact on the employer's bottom line.

One way to prevent workplace bullying is to have a written policy clearly stating which types of behavior are not tolerated. HR and management need to be consistent with enforcing their policy...."
        Source:, 10/21/10

Not only is bullying in the workplace prevalent globally, but it is costly to both the organization who spends money on worker's compensation insurance premium increases, replacing ill workers, and training replacements. And, the cost to the employee is physical and psychological as well as economical. Many targets of the bully have marital problems caused by the psychological impact of the tormented spouse. The impact on society has not been researched or documented but it would be huge in the billions. Bullying at work is a crime and should be treated as such. Unfortunately, HR is there to protect the bully and the organization so the only support will come from the outside for the target.

Dorightatwork, thank you so much for your incredibly informative and insightful comment. I totally and completely agree that bullying is a crime. I very unfortunately did not associate bullying with my situation in the workplace. The industry in which I worked, that type of behavior seemed to be sadly accepted. And, the attitude was that if you couldn't take it and didn't like it, then you needed to get out. It was a very abusive environment where we were demeaned and called names on a daily basis.