Half the population are bullied ... most only recognize it when they read this
Few employers understand how a bully impairs productivity, hinders performance, and damages profitability. This page looks at a typical example of the effect of one serial bully on one department's performance.
Population of the UK: 60,000,000
Number of workers / employees: 28,000,000
The majority of Advice Line cases involve a manager bullying a subordinate in a professional or semi-professional context.
The average wage for a lower-middle level manager or professional is around £20,000 pa.
The effect of bullying on a targeted subordinate is to cut their work rate and effectiveness by 50% (at least), therefore the annual cost of bullying to the employer in this department is £10,000.
The serial bully impairs the effectiveness of other employees, so say a further four
employees earning £15,000 pa have their performance impaired by 33% (4 x £5000), plus a
further eight employees earning £10,000 pa have their
effectiveness cut by 20%. ie 8 x £2000 = £16,000.
Experience from over 10,000 Advice Line cases suggests these estimates are conservative.
The majority of bullying is carried out by a superior, so say the bully is a grade
higher on a salary of £25,000pa. The serial bully is a dead weight who survives
by plagiarising other peoples' work so his/her annual cost
is £25,000. Although glib and plausible, only when the serial bully leaves will it be
discovered how little work that person completed - and much of that will be to a poor
standard requiring the work to be junked or done again properly.
Serial bully: £25,000
Effect on employees: £46,000
The lowest estimate of bullying, an IPD survey, estimated that 1 in 8 workers bullied which equates to around 3.5 million people.
For safety, take
my estimate of 1 person in 100 being a serial bully, therefore 1/100 of 28 million is
280,000 (less than 1/10th of the CIPD's estimate).
280,000 x £71,000 = £19.88 billion
Cost of stress and stress-related illness (TUC, HSE, CBI etc): £12 billion
Cost to UK plc: around £32 billion a year.
This doesn't include consequential costs, legal costs, insurance costs, compensation costs, staff turnover costs, re-recruitment and re-training costs, loss of investment in training and experience, loss of employee potential, benefit costs, injury to health, loss of revenue due to employee being out of work and no longer paying tax, family breakdown, costs to society, etc.
For the latest surveys, estimates, facts and figures on bullying click here.
Where now at Bully OnLine?
How can I recognise that I'm being bullied?
What is bullying and why me? | Definitions of bullying
Frequently asked questions (FAQs) about bullying
Overcoming myths, misperceptions and stereotypes
The answer to Why don't you stand up for yourself?
Bullying and vulnerability
Why have my colleagues deserted me?
What's the difference between bullying and mobbing?
What is harassment and discrimination?
Why grievance procedures are inappropriate for dealing with bullying
The difference between bullying and management
Facts, figures, surveys, costs of bullying | Cost of bullying to UK plc
UK National Workplace Bullying Advice Line statistics
Profile of the serial bully - who does this describe in your life?
Antisocial Personality Disorder | Narcissistic Personality Disorder
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Bullies and attention-seeking behaviour
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Bullying in the public sector - the political dimension and
why trade unions fail to support their members
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