Ever been bullied at the office? You’re not alone.
Nearly 94% of worked admitted to being bullied in the workplace — and more than half of respondents said the culprit was their boss or manager, according to a new survey.
Job-search website Monster asked more than 2,000 workers if they had ever been bullied in the workplace. Respondents were asked to answer which scenario best described their experience and an astounding 51% said that their boss or manager bullied them.
It was the most popular response ahead of being bullied by a coworker or colleague, while just 5% said that they had never been bullied at work and little over 1% admitted to being the actual bully.
The art of bullying
In terms of how workers were bullied, it varied. Nearly a quarter said it came through aggressive email tone or language used at the office. Twenty percent said it was coworkers gossiping negatively behind your back, while 18% said it was a verbal confrontation when someone raised their voice or yelled directly at them.
Others said it was someone being overly critical, yet not constructive and some said it was people demanding work to be done but stealing credit for it themselves.
“A manager who bullies you is the definition of a toxic boss,” Monster career expert Vicki Salemi said in a statement. “When your boss is the bully, your best solution is to fast track to the exit by looking for a new job immediately. Don’t wait or hope it will get better. Do something you can control–look for a job with a much better boss!”
Salemi said the best way to deal with bullying at the office is to access it and realize you have options, like looking for a new job that will offer a fresh start.
“Just because bullying is common–too common, doesn’t mean it’s normal. This is unacceptable behavior and it should not be normalized,” she said. “If this is happening to you and you’re on the receiving end, you deserve better! The good news is there are better bosses and companies who do treat you with respect, and colleagues who don’t gossip out there. The only way to discover them is to start looking for a new job.”
She said the right fit means a positive environment for you to grow, with a boss who respects you rather than one who belittles or even ignores you. Other traits to find in a new opportunity include accessing the office culture and overall camaraderie while understanding the new job’s responsibilities, pay and benefits, and seeing if they offer options that benefit a healthy working culture like flexible work arrangements such as working remotely.
But ultimately, it’s up to the employee to make a decision — and take action.
“If your work environment is conducive to upward feedback, speak to your boss and/or human resources department,” Salemi said. “Document it in writing and keep a file. Bullying is not acceptable behavior in any form, so we need to chip away and work to change workplace cultures.”