Executive Summary of                  "Bullying Bosses: A Full Cost Accounting"

Workplace bullying is costing organizations worldwide millions of dollars in turnover, absenteeism, decreased productivity, retaliation, and more. Executive Confidante recently published a report, Bullying Bosses: A Full Cost Accounting, that provides an extensive summary of the available research, helping organizations see the true costs of turning a blind eye to this pervasive problem.

The report examines the prevalence of workplace bullying, and details the wide range of its negative impacts. The report also quantifies to the greatest extent possible the costs of turnover, reduced productivity, decreased morale, increased stress, absenteeism, collateral costs to management, etc.

Report highlights:

  • Turnover costs: The cost of replacing employees who leave because of bullying for a company with 10,000 employees and annual revenue of $500 million is $36.1 million dollars. This conservative estimate results in a cost that is just over 7% of annual revenue.
  • Disruptive behaviors in healthcare: In a 2008 study by the Veterans Health Administration West Coast, 77% of the nurses and physicians surveyed reported they had witnessed disruptive behaviors in physicians, and 65% had witnessed disruptive behavior in nurses. Two-thirds agreed these disruptive behaviors were linked with “adverse events,” including medical errors. Twenty-seven percent agreed these behaviors were linked with patient deaths.
  • Stress and related negative health outcomes: Days off of work due to anxiety, stress, and related disorders is more than four times the number of days off due to injury and other kinds of illness. Workplace bullying results in anxiety, increased pessimism and cynicism, depression, and other negative outcomes, and is a large contributor to the huge cost of absenteeism–which can run into the several millions of dollars for larger companies.
  •  Retaliation by the target: In a recent study by workplace incivility researchers Christine Pearson and Christine Porath, 48% of those targeted by workplace bullying intentionally decreased their work effort, 47% intentionally decreased time at work, and 38% decreased work quality.

Bullying Bosses: A Full Cost Accounting presents research from a variety of academic, government, and public resources to provide managers and administrators with the data they need to fully grasp the wide range of costs attributable to workplace bullying.


Executive Confidante                                                                                        651-356-5080 / kalli@execconf.com