ASHLAND, Ore.-- Workplace bullying costs an estimated 64 billion dollars a year in America.
That's due to high employee turnover, costs to train new employees, and employee disengagement.
At this year's three-day conference for Southern Oregon's Occupational Health and Safety Association, they have a workshop for the first time focusing on bullying in the workplace and what you can do about it.
Paul Coughlin says, "One of the sad facts is it takes about three years to understand what a bully is actually doing and to get rid of the bully and the damage they do is actually staggering."
In a recent study 30-40 percent of people admit to being bullied at work.
And most bullying in the workplace isn't passive aggressive.
Paul Coughlin says, "It's usually insults, it's put downs, it's ridicule, it's disdain."
Coughlin says out of 20 employees, you could have 3 people prone to bullying.
Paul Coughlin says, "They have the mindset of a bully but they're only able to activate it you have to have an environment that is conducive to the bully. So, what we’re going to do here is change the environment so the bully just can't do their dark magic so to speak, to that organization."
Coughlin says solving bullying is complex.
There's no simple answer but communicating will help.
Paul Coughlin says, "We do it by standing up to the bully, having clear boundaries, saying we don't do that here, we don't do harassment, we are respectful to one another."
And it’s not an issue that should just get handed off to HR.
It’s a team effort and a mutual understanding between employees.
Paul Coughlin says, "It's the leadership of an organization when they take it serious, bullies notice. When you push it off to human resources, bullies know that game.