Subtle digs most hurtful in workplace

by 08 Sep 2009

Workplace bullying is usually subtle, taking the form of silence and isolation, verbal insults, and sarcasm, a recent study has shown.

The study, by Drake International, revealed that bullying is still rife in Australian workplaces, with more than 50 per cent of survey respondents witnessing bullying behaviour and 25 per cent reporting being a target of bullying themselves.

However 36 per cent cited subtle forms of bullying as the most common and damaging behaviour. Public humiliation and criticism was the second-most common behaviour – representing 26 per cent of instances. Gender was also revealed as no barrier; male and females were almost equally at fault as the bully or as the target of the behaviour.

Responses highlighted workplaces’ lack of policy and action on dealing with workplace bullying, with only 30 per cent of bullying targets and less than 50 per cent of witnesses satisfied with their organisation’s handling of the situation. More than 50 per cent of respondents also noted that the bullying behaviour had been going on for more than six months.


Most Read