Costs of Workplace Bullying

Directly or indirectly, workplace bullying affects everyone: individuals, work groups, and entire organizations.

How bullying affects individuals
Research has shown that victims of bullying may experience significant stress-related health problems, including:

  • Insomnia
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Digestive disorders
  • Musculoskeletal problems
  • Cardiovascular illness

How bullying affects work groups
People who witness a pattern of bullying may be subject to some of the same health problems as those who are directly targeted. In addition, those who work in an environment where bullying takes place are likely to experience:

  • Decreased morale, productivity and job satisfaction
  • Reluctance to speak up about problems of any kind
  • Lack of motivation to contribute their best work or offer suggestions for improvement

How bullying affects organizations
At an organizational level, the effects of bullying can be measured financially and reflected in public image. To the University, bullying can mean:

  • Attrition of skilled employees
  • Higher rates of absenteeism
  • Greater number of Workers’ Compensation claims
  • Diminished quality of services
  • Damaged reputation
  • Difficulty attracting the most highly qualified employees