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Grow Your Business Your Team

Employees Who Witness Bullying Often Quit

Employees Who Witness Bullying Often Quit Bullying at work can cause serious stress. / Credit: NotarYES, Shutterstock

Those who witness workplace bullying are more likely to quit than those who experience it firsthand, according to new research.

The University of British Columbia study revealed that victims of office bullying aren't the only ones bearing the brunt of the mistreatment.

"Our findings show that people across an organization experience a moral indignation when others are bullied that can make them want to leave in protest," said professor Sandra Robinson, the study's co-author.

The study was based on surveys of more than 350 Canadian nurses that used a series of questions to assess the level of bullying in each nursing unit, as well as the individual bullying experiences.

The researchers then assessed the nurses' intentions to leave their positions in units where bullying was pervasive.

[7 Signs it's Time to Quit Your Job]

The findings show that those who experience bullying, either directly or indirectly, had a greater desire to quit their jobs than those who didn't. However, the results also indicate that people who experienced bullying as bystanders wanted to quit in even greater numbers.

Robinson warns that even if employees stay on the job, a business's productivity can suffer severely when staff members have an unrealized desire to leave.

"Managers need to be aware that the behavior is pervasive and it can have a mushrooming effect that goes well beyond the victims," Robinson said. "Ultimately, bullies can hurt the bottom line and need to be dealt with quickly and publicly so that justice is restored to the workplace."

The study was published in the current edition of the journal Human Relations.

Follow Chad Brooks on Twitter @cbrooks76 or BusinessNewsDaily @BNDarticles. We're also on Facebook& Google+.

Chad  Brooks
Chad Brooks

Chad Brooks is a Chicago-based freelance writer who has nearly 15 years experience in the media business. A graduate of Indiana University, he spent nearly a decade as a staff reporter for the Daily Herald in suburban Chicago, covering a wide array of topics including, local and state government, crime, the legal system and education. Following his years at the newspaper Chad worked in public relations, helping promote small businesses throughout the U.S. Follow him on Twitter.

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