Bullying in the workplace is "endemic" in the UK, affecting 80% of employees, the Samaritans charity has warned.
The charity said a third of those it surveyed were so unhappy they had considered leaving their job.
Its research identified young employees as the group most vulnerable to stress, and the least able to discuss concerns with managers or colleagues.
In my experience there are real barriers to dealing with workplace bullying:
1 Ignorance of the Subject- Fundamentally whilst bullying can be overt it can also be extremely subtle. For example one of the classic ways to bully is by manipulation of holiday schedules or a refusal to delegate work.
2 Embarrassment remains - It is stigmatisng to admit that one is being bullied. As a consequence often victims of bullies suffer in silence. This further contributes to the problem. Culturally aggression is supported rather than passivity.
3 Victim Needs to be Empowered - In an era which encouarges people to be victims, this can further exaberate problems which individuals have. Victims may have have a pre-dispoition to be being bullied. Only if this is so, this should be explored and more undersatanding should be brought to bear.
4 Organisations need to focus on bottom-line. The damage caused can be great such as legal costs, time spent wasting on the problem etc. Is it not time to deal with the problem? More often than not, orgaanisations are passive and in effect bullying behaviour is endorsed.