Employees who see bullying more likely to quit than those bullied

(Shutterstock)

(Shutterstock)

QMI AGENCY

, Last Updated: 11:24 AM ET

Witnesses of workplace bullying are more apt to quit than the victims, according to a study out of the University of British Columbia.

Researchers were surprised to find that the effects of bullies at work reach well beyond just the person being bullied, hurting productivity and the bottom line.

"People across an organization experience a moral indignation when others are bullied that can make them want to leave in protest," said Prof. Sandra Robinson, co-author of the study that appears in the current edition of the journal Human Relations.

The researchers used surveys of 357 nurses at a large Canadian hospital, noting that previous research has shown bullying to be prevalent in that industry.

They found that those who were bullied and those who saw bullying both expressed a greater desire to quit their jobs than those who had not, but more bystanders than victims wanted to leave.

And employees who stay even though they want to leave may not be the most productive staffers, the study says.

Bullies have a "corrosive" effect in the workplace, the authors wrote. "(They) can hurt the bottom line and need to be dealt with quickly and publicly so that justice is restored to the workplace." 

 

 


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