New report highlights costs of employers' failure to tackle workplace bullying

Employers in the construction industry are failing to prevent bullying in the workplace, according to a new report published on Friday.

Among construction managers polled for the Chartered Management Institute (CIM) report, over one-third (34%) said their organisation was ineffective in dealing with bullies and 78% blamed a lack of management skills for bullying behaviour.

Other factors cited for the persistence of bullying behaviour at work included personality clashes (blamed by 66%) and authoritarian management styles (59%).

The report highlighted government figures that show workplace bullying costs the UK economy £13.75bn a year, with 100 million days of lost productivity.

Jo Causon, director of marketing and corporate affairs at the CIM, said: “In the current economic climate the pressure to deliver is more acute than ever, but the need to perform should not be seen as an excuse to bully. Now, more than ever, the ability of the UK's managers and leaders to set a good example is paramount.”

Overall, the CIM surveyed the views of 867 managers in the private, public and voluntary sectors across a variety of industry sectors.

More than half (53%) of construction managers polled said that bullying occurred between their peers, and 19% said they had witnessed bullying between managers and subordinates.