Bullying isn’t just limited to kids on a playground — it also affects adults in the workplace. In fact, a recent poll found more than a third of American employees, 53 million in all, have been intimidated, harassed or threatened by a boss or co-worker.

“Usually it’s someone who’s in a position of authority, who feels threatened by the victim,” said John Challenger, CEO of the outplacement firm Challenger, Gray and Christmas. “But [in] some cases, [it's] just a bully who is insecure about his or her job.”

He added that workplace bullying can cause lost productivity, higher turnover and a hostile atmosphere in the office, as well as higher absentee rates and depression and stress for the victim. Worse yet, most people never say anything about being bullied because they don’t think their company will do anything about it.

So if you’re a boss (the non-bullying kind, of course), how can you find out it’s going on?

“A good manager needs to be talking with his or her people, listening to what the issues are,” Challenger said. “Sometimes, you won’t hear it from the person who’s the victim, you’ll hear it from others.”

[CBS Chicago]