'Shocking' new survey reveals 90 percent of Kiwi workers have experienced bullying in past 12 months

Warning: This story discusses bullying and suicide.

More than 90 percent of workers say they've experienced bullying in the past 12 months.

Nearly a quarter of respondents to a survey have experienced it on a monthly basis, and even the researchers were shocked by the results.

Josh, who Newshub has agreed to change his name and his voice, is taking out a bullying claim against former employers.

"Stress, you know, and anxiety about the situation but over time, things got a lot worse."

Josh says he felt increasingly isolated.

"Obviously emotionally, but over time even physically and eventually even spiritually ... It just keeps going and you just start to get those feelings of hopelessness."

Massey University Professor Jarrod Haar surveyed more than 1100 employees.

"I am shocked that it's about 92 percent. I think most of us within a given year are going to feel purposefully excluded, people withholding information to affect our job, making snide comments or rude comments about us."

Worse yet, just under 10 percent of Kiwi workers say they suffer bullying weekly.

"Imagine going to work and that's your weekly event is having multiple things going on to you. It just wears people down mentally."

Frequently bullied workers are at least 10 times more likely to face job burnout, anxiety or depression.

"Engagement drops, job satisfaction drops and you think about quitting as well, which is possibly a realistic solution," said Prof Haar.

A small number like Josh have suicidal thoughts.

"That kind of isolation and that kind of feeling of hopelessness eventually did result in me suffering from something that I hadn't experienced in a long time which was suicidal ideation."

Josh didn't act, thanks to his GP and the Employee Assistance Programme. So often it's not a matter of toughing it out.

"I don't think we build people's resilience by bullying them."

The answer, says Professor Haar, lies in inclusiveness, better training and better job support for all.

Where to find help and support: 

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