Workplace Bullying Continues To Be A National Epidemic In Corporate World


 Story Tag Line: “National Surveys Reveal
Workplace Bullying Goes Unchecked”

Date: Aug.28, 2013

Ron Watkins
Organizational Behavior
Phone: 828-508-9140

Email: ron@mskyconsult.com                                                                       Word Count:   Approx. 560

Most Companies Have No Idea of the High Costs Associated With Workplace Bullies

ere you ever forced to work with someone who made you feel incompetent, inadequate, or stupid?  Perhaps he/she “brown-nosed” their supervisor but screamed at the staff as a means to control and paralyze any employee initiative.  These are just a few of the behaviors displayed by bullies in the workplace.  Other titles that describe the workplace bullies’ behavior might be “the screamer”, “two-headed snake” or, “queen bee”.  Even though they may have different names based on the emotional and psychological abuse the subordinates are forced to endure, the common purpose for the inappropriate behavior is to control their subordinates in whatever behavior tactics they deem appropriate.


 In a recent national poll by The Workplace Bullying Institute revealed that 37% of the U.S. workforce (or 54 million employees) have experienced workplace bullies at some time in their career. Anything that affects 37% of the public has to be classified an epidemic…but it’s a silent epidemic.  In a more recent national survey by The Workplace Bully Institute revealed a few of the following results:


·         The incidences of Workplace Bullying is four times greater than sexual harassment and discrimination combined

·         Women bullies tend to be gender bias in that 80% of the individuals singled out as victims tend to be other women while men tend to bully female victims 48% of the time

·         Some professions seem to generate more bullies than others. The study revealed that 94% of the women who were in the health care profession reported they had been bullied either verbally, emotionally abused, and even physically attacked sometime during, or currently, in their careers

·         Of those victims who reported the emotional and psychological abuse to upper management or the Human Resource Department that only 7% of the bullies were either sanctioned, reprimanded, or terminated as a result of the victims’  formal complaints


Companies are slow to realize the high costs of having office bullies in managerial positions nor do they seem to understand that bullying actually prevents work from getting done; trying to work in a toxic environment interferes with productivity which erodes a corporation’s profits.  These costs tend to fall into three major areas; the first is turnover.  It has been well documented that a company can expect to spend conservatively 1 ½  to 3 times the annual compensation to replace an existing management position. These figures are usually calculated only on the salary and benefits being offered to the new replacement.  The second area is the bully’s induced stress on the victims that result in behaviors manifested through psychological symptoms and/or physiological complaints as in Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.  The third area is the actual lost productivity of a department as a result of having to endure the bully’s emotional abuse.  The daily atmosphere of low morale is cancerous and becomes evident in a number of sudden absentee days taken in the company.  For a medium to large organization these lost days can be quantified to approximately $750,000 annually in lost productivity and hard costs such as the hiring of temporary help.


Bullies in the workplace continue to thrive for a number of reasons.  A few of the most common include (1.) The upper management rationalizes the problem as being “a personality conflict” ( 2.) It’s considered an H/R problem or ( 3.) The senior manager is inclined to shy away from confrontations or conflict. The good news is there is help available to ferret out the workplace bullies and deal with them.



About The Psychological Makeup of a Bully

1. The vast majority of bullies share two major deficiencies in their behavior. The primary deficiency is their incompetency at establishing and maintaining a sense of trust with their employees and secondly, is their inability to communicate clearly and appropriately as a manager.

2. Depending on the behaviors exhibited by a bully, a screaming bully tends to be insecure beneath his/her façade of inappropriate verbal attacks and temper tantrums that are not unlike those seen by a five year old.

3. Bullies become master manipulators in the workplace in order to avoid accountability for failures and problems or as a tactic in order to fulfill their narcissistic needs.

About Mountain Sky Consulting

Ron Watkins, President of Mountain Sky Consulting (MSC), earned his undergraduate degree in Clinical Psychology at Heidelberg University followed by his graduate degree from Ball State University in the field of Behavioral Psychology.  His 25 years in Organizational Behavior and his skills in the areas of psychometrics, succession planning, conflict resolution and, leadership development has positioned him uniquely to deal with workplace bullies.  The objective of MSC is to partner with upper management  to solve the problem.  MSC can help properly identify workplace bullies, deal with them, address the resulting trauma to the victims and help the company realize the tremendous monetary savings that can be gained through resolution of their bullying problem.