Friday, February 8, 2013

Dealing with a workplace bully yourself is ineffective 97% of the time

The first key point of this article is compelling and prevalent in workplace bullying literature---once you are targeted by a bully your chances of losing or leaving that job as a result of the bullying are almost 80%.

Additionally, this article outlines your likelihood s of success under different strategies.  They are depressingly low, as seen in the following excerpted list (article here):

Strategies to Stop Bullying & Their Effectiveness (from Workplace Bullying Institute article)
Effectiveness ratings were limited to only the respondents who answered ‘yes’ to the adoption of a particular strategy.
1. Target seemed to not do anything (In other words, letting time pass hoping matters will improve by themselves) was adopted by 38% of targets. Most (62%) did try something.
Effectiveness of doing nothing: 3.25%
We consider “doing nothing” the baseline to which the effectiveness of all other strategies can be compared.
2. Target directly confronted the perpetrator — 69.5% did so
Effectiveness of confronting3.57%
3. Target asked perpetrator’s boss to intervene & stop it — 70.7% did so
Effectiveness of support from bully’s boss3.26%
4. Target told senior management/owner expecting support — 73.9% did so
Effectiveness of senior management/owners3.69%
5. If union present, asked union to intervene & stop it — 60.3% did so
Effectiveness of union8.84%
6. Target filed a formal complaint with HR alleging a policy violation — 42.8% did so
Effectiveness of HR4.7%
7. Target filed a complaint with an external state or federal agency — 18.7%
Effectiveness of EEOC, etc.: 11.9%
8. Target tried to find an attorney to file a lawsuit — 33.7%
Effectiveness of finding an attorney11.2%
9. Target did file a lawsuit — 8.9% (n=379)
Effectiveness of filing a lawsuit16.4%
The purpose of this study was to have individuals intimately familiar with bullying (those directly experiencing it or witnessing it) describe the effectiveness of various adopted tactics or strategies to stop the bullying.
The results are clear. Letting time pass (doing nothing) stopped bullying 3% of the time, an obviously ineffective tactic. However the other tactics — confronting, imploring the bully’s boss, filing an HR complaint, or telling senior management — were as ineffective as doing nothing. When discrimination is part of the bullying, it does pay to use current laws (the effectiveness rises to double digits).
For the few unionized respondents, the rate was double HR’s effectiveness. The most realistic conclusion from these findings is that whatever individuals try, the chances of success are miniscule with failure hovering around 97% for most strategies.