One in two managers suffer bullying at work

Nearly half of managers claim to have been bullied in the past year, new research has revealed.

A survey of 2,300 people conducted by Work Life Balance Centre and Coventry University, found that 44% had been bullied in the past year, including 12% of senior managers.

More than one in 10 respondents reported being bullied by their colleagues rather than their manager.

Bullying is most likely in telecoms, IT, engineering, transport and higher education, as opposed to business services, schools, manufacturing and retail, sectors which were least likely to see bullying.

Among the other findings were:

  • Men were just as likely as women to be sexually harassed by their manager.
  • One in five workers viewed their managers as inconsistent and secretive.
  • Transport and telecommunications workers were also among the most likely to be racially or sexually harassed.

Denise Skinner, professor of HR management at Coventry University, said a vast majority of instances of bullying and racial and sexual harassment go unreported, which needed improvement. “Younger workers, and those in the industry sectors we have identified, seem especially vulnerable and more needs to be done to ensure they feel able to come forward and speak out about what has happened.

“Improvements also need to be made in the way people are treated when they ask for help with work/life balance issues. Less than one-third of those who asked their employer for help found it effective while a quarter found the support to be ineffective with a further 13.9% finding it made things worse,” Skinner said.

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