Previous Poll and Survey Results - Know Bull! Australia :: Workplace anti-bullying website

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Topic List of Previous Polls (click on links to 'jump to' Poll results)

1. How many times have you been the 'target' of a workplace bully?

2. If you saw workplace bullying at work would you report it?

3. Public vs Private Sector Bullying

4. Workplace Bullies engage in bullying because...

5. Workplace Bullying & Relationships

6. How helpful was HR (Human Resources) in addressing workplace bullying?




Results of Previous Surveys

The Extent and Effects of Workplace Bullying Survey, 2010
is available for download in two formats:






POLL QUESTION:
How many times have you been the 'target' of a workplace bully?





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Results published: 6 Oct 2009, N=2360
Thank you to those who voted in this poll.


QUICK SUMMARY:
The results of this poll serve to discount the 'perceived' myth that the 'targets' of workplace bullies are 'weak' and insipid individuals with little to no strength, or 'staying power'. The effects of workplace bullying are well documented. 'Targets' are subjected to an ongoing barrage of threats, humiliation, intimidation, personal and professional character assassination, sabotage and abuse...often without the support of fellow work colleagues — while the negative health effects begin manifesting literally from the onset of workplace bullying. To return to a 'toxic' workplace day after day...without any respite in sight...and knowing that each day will generally bring more misery...is not the sign of a 'weak' person.  Far from it. As this poll revealed, bully 'targets' withstand workplace bullying and abuse for many months to years, with the strongest response of 32.6% indicating they had endured workplace bullying from 18-24+ months. 

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POLL QUESTION:
If you saw workplace bullying at work would you report it?





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Results published: 6 Apr 2010, N=2346
Thank you to those who voted in this poll.


QUICK SUMMARY:
The results of this poll reveal the majority of respondents (62.2%) would report bullying if they saw it in the workplace.  However, reporting workplace bullying...and whether or not the organisation takes steps to eradicate that bullying...are two entirely different things. Further, additional Know Bull! research indicates that 50% of those who reported workplace bullying stated their organisation "did nothing" to address it. Interestingly, those respondents who indicated they wouldn't report instances of bullying because of "bully retribution", or that it would "cost" their job (total: 15.6%), have valid concerns. The information in Know Bull's files combined with research over the past five years reveals a bleak picture. Despite increasing awareness of workplace bullying, and the specific statutory duty of organisations to take 'all reasonably practicable steps' to protect their employees' health, safety and welfare...Know Bull! estimates that at least 6-7 in every 10 workplaces is afflicted with workplace bullying.

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POLL QUESTION:
Public vs Private Sector Workplace Bullying. Which options best describe your situation?






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Results published: Mar 2013, N=580
Thank you to those who voted in this poll.


QUICK SUMMARY:
The results of this poll indicate that workplace bullying can, and does take place across a variety of workplaces - in both public and private sectors. In fact, no organisation - large or small - is immune.  However, what this particular poll reveals is that Public Servants appear to be subjected to workplace bullying in greater numbers (as past or current bully 'targets'), than their Private Sector counterparts (65.5% vs. 53.4%).  And when it comes to addressing workplace bullying - a higher percentage (55.2%) of Private Sector Employees have found their workplace Policies and Procedures inadequate, when compared to processes within the Public Service (34.5%). To put this into perspective, 89.7% of total respondents indicated that the existing processes in their workplaces to deal with workplace bullying are essentially not effective. 

NOTE: To download poll image, click here and 'save'. Image opens in new window.


POLL QUESTION:
Complete the following sentence. Workplace Bullies engage in bullying because...





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Results published: March 2013, N=690
Thank you to those who voted in this poll.


QUICK SUMMARY:
The Poll revealed what respondents saw as the 'motivating' factors prompting a workplace bully to 'bully'. The highest response (63.8%) indicates that bullies are primarily seen as having a need for "power over others". If however, the workplace bully is a manager this result could also be interpreted as an 'abuse of power'. The next highest response (58%) is actually the Achilles' Heel of a workplace bully..."the fear of being exposed as inadequate in their jobs". In order to keep their 'sham' of a worklife, workplace bullies set about destroying anyone who poses a 'threat'...which explains why their behaviours are so abhorrent. Despite this, workplace bullies do envy the skills and talents the 'target' possesses (47.8%), plus they have an extreme sense of 'entitlement'. When you add a resume or CV, which is 'embellished' with a host of fake and fraudulent credentials and skills; plus a 'willingness' to do whatever it takes to get and keep what they want (i.e. "they don't respect the values of others", 46.4%)...you pretty much have a complete profile of a workplace bully. For more information, see the article: Bullies in the workplace – they’re far too ‘expensive’ to keep!

NOTE: To download poll image, click here and 'save'. Image opens in new window.


POLL QUESTION:
Workplace Bullying & Relationships. Which options best describe your situation?






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Results published: Mar 2013, N=790
Thank you to those who voted in this poll.


QUICK SUMMARY:
The effects of workplace bullying extend beyond the bullied 'target', negatively impacting on the target's relationship with their partners, family, and their co-workers. At 54.4%, there is a greater percentage co-worker relationships under 'strain' than partner or family relationships. At first glance, this may seem unusual - especially when research indicates the enormous toll workplace bullying takes on partners and families. However, what needs to be understood is that co-workers work in the same environment as the 'target', and often 'witness' the workplace bullying. Through fear of bully 'retribution', and possibly becoming a bully target as well, co-workers are generally the first to shun, ostracize, and withdraw their support from the 'target'.  From the target's perspective more of their co-workers will desert them than their partners or family, simply because co-workers are often greater in number. At 43% the partner, and generally the person who is closest to the bully target, will be under enormous strain. More often than not, 'targets' keep the bullying 'secret' from their partner for some time - primarily due to 'shame', and a desire not to burden them.  And it's not easy for a partner to stand by and not know what's going on, while they watch the person they care most about 'unravel' before their eyes. Family members such as children, parents, siblings etc at 32.9% will also feel the 'strain' of workplace bullying.  And the more protracted the bullying, the greater the health effects on the target. The family outings and activities that once provided joy for the target cease to exist, as the target withdraws further from family life. Left un-addressed, and under enormous strain - workplace bullying can lead to breakdown of partner or family relationships (16.5%). It's little wonder that the strongest response of respondents (64.6%), was that coping with bullying had left targets feeling 'powerless'.   

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POLL QUESTION:
For bullied 'targets': How helpful was HR (Human Resources) in addressing workplace bullying?






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Results published: Aug 2013, N=840
Thank you to those who voted in this poll.


QUICK SUMMARY:
The results of this poll reveal that HR are not very helpful when it comes to assisting employees in dealing with workplace bullying (27.8% of poll responses). Collectively, 55.5% were either singled out for 'bully retribution', experienced worsening bully treatment, or were fired from their jobs (11.1%)...after having spoken with HR about the workplace bullying. Further, approximately a third (27.8% of responses) indicated they were 'directed' to attend a meeting with the bully actually being present, or that the HR meeting was nothing more than a bully 'ambush'. However, there are many contributing factors as to why HR is not effective when it comes to assisting 'bullied' employees. For starters, the role of HR is to keep the employer out of court NOT to assist employees eradicate workplace bullying. Even those 'rare birds' that actually do have some semblance of moral fibredon't have the organisational muscle to affect cultural change in the organisation. When it comes down to it — HR do what management tells them to do, whether it's right or wrong for the individual employee — doesn't enter into the equation. And the worse the workplace bullying is...the quicker HR will join up with 'team management' to purge the organisation of the bullied target. For more information on this topic view the article: Why is HR generally ineffective?

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