Workplace Bullying – The Myth of Employer Ignorance

Workplace Bullying – The Myth of Employer Ignorance

Most targets of bullying believe that their employers either turn a blind eye to the problem, or simply are not aware of how badly it is impacting their employees. After all, if it were a serious problem, wouldn’t the employer do something about it?

What if I were to tell you that the most (not all)  of employers actually do believe workplace bullying is a serious problem? Recent research indicates that is actually the case.

Workplace Bullying: Employers are More Aware of Problem Than Targets Realize

A recent Workplace Bullying Institute study reveals some surprising figures.

When workplace bullying targets were asked “In your organization, which of the following best describes the owner’s or senior executive’s personally held opinion of workplace bullying?”

  • 9% said “they think it’s a serious problem.”

  • 15% indicated “they never heard of it.”

  • 76% asserted that “they think it is irrelevant – a non issue.

However, when business leaders were asked, the results were nearly completely opposite than the targets indicated.

  • 68% said “it’s a serious problem.”

  • 17% said “they never heard of it.”

  • 15% said “it’s irrelevant – a non issue.”

Bullying is a Serious Problem and Business Leaders Know It

Of course, the study raises many questions.  Among them:. If employers/business leaders know that bullying is such a problem, How is it that targets have the complete opposite impression of how their employers feel about the issue?

As a consultant to executives worldwide, my opinion is that they mishandle by ignoring it, proposing ineffective solutions or downplaying the seriousness of any particular complaint. This leads to inaction, or ineffective solutions. From the target’s perspective, it is certainly understandable how they believe employers simply don’t care.

For more effective strategies to deal with workplace bullying contact me.

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I’ve been a strategic consultant on workplace conflict to executives worldwide for more than 20 years. My work brings individualized solutions to your teams’ lost productivity, loss of key personnel, low morale, and the high costs resulting from bullying, abrasive behaviors and interpersonal workplace conflicts.

I’m Kathleen Bartle, Conflict Consultant.