The persistent problem of workplace bullying and how to move forward

In these days, when everything is about empowerment and engagement, it’s tempting to think of every workplace as a monument to teamwork and a sense of shared purpose, with creativity and imagination actively encouraged. Unfortunately, all those surveys indicating that productivity and job satisfaction levels remain stubbornly low suggest that this is not the case. We might like to think that reality TV shows like The newbiestarring for a long time in the US by Donald Trump and in the UK by Lord Sugar, or dramas like Succession they are over the top, with their aggressive and scheming demeanor. But could it be that they are more accurate than we would like to think?

Workplace behavior has come under a degree of scrutiny in the UK in recent weeks. Just today, it has been reported that a bullying culture might have existed on the daytime TV show. This morning, who has already been rocked by revelations of an affair between his former co-anchor and a much younger junior employee. This adds to allegations of sexual harassment and other inappropriate behavior at the Confederation of British Industry that have already cost its CEO his job and could have further ramifications. As if it wasn’t bad enough that this was happening at the organization that represents the country’s top companies, there was the investigation into allegations of intimidation against former Deputy Prime Minister Dominic Raab. All but two of the claims were dismissed, but in supporting these claims, the investigator found that Raab had acted in an “unreasonably and persistently aggressive” manner during a meeting while serving as foreign secretary and that his actions involved “abuse or abuse of power in a way that undermines or humiliates.” Raab resigned, but said the findings against him were flawed and “set a dangerous precedent for good government conduct.”

By noting that ministers should be able to provide critical feedback to set the standard and drive reform, he has sparked a debate about where the lines lie between setting high standards and being unduly harsh.

There is, of course, a difference between driving performance and outright intimidation. But many will see a gray area between, for example, the kind of praise we see from football coaches on the touchline every week and the verbal tirades and reprimands (known as the “hair dryer treatment”). given by the coaches. in the locker room after what they have seen as inadequate displays. As a labor lawyer cited by People Management As the magazine points out, there’s a problem if managers feel they can’t give feedback for fear it will be interpreted as negative. What this means, of course, is that in the appraisal exercises that are now commonplace, managers avoid using language that could be construed that way, and organizations have to devise other methods of deciding who is performing and who is not.

Columnists and letter-writers to newspapers are among those who have come out in support of Raab, with one former newspaper executive saying that a “rebuke” from the editor’s office “often had a salutary effect on the recipient.” and ultimately contributed to high editorial standards.” That might have been true then, but it’s largely irrelevant today. Such views date back to a time when young employees expected to be fearful on the job (as they were). they had been for much of their time in school. Today, young and not-so-young recruits expect to be treated differently. Far from being intimidated by their superiors, they demand to work as suits them and do not feel the need to hide their personality or their feelings at work.

Perhaps it is the failure of many employers to meet these expectations that is behind the disappointing numbers in measures such as productivity and engagement. But others cite the continuing talent shortage as the reason they need to engage with the younger generation of employees and their desires.

For example, at Avanade, a joint venture between technology consultancy Accenture and software company Microsoft, CEO Pam Maynard sees developing an employee value proposition and principles in line with the notion of a “growth mindset.” associated with psychologist Carol Dweck of Stanford University. as a key to this. In a clear rebuttal to the kind of management style that may or may not be seen as bullying, she adds: “While boosting productivity and generating profits are of course a key part of any business, you’ll never see much time. long-term success if achieved at the expense of employee well-being. I am a firm believer in the power of purpose and bringing your people together around a common goal.”

In a recent interview, she said that when she was appointed to the position in In September 2019, he decided to undertake the creation of an organization “where people feel like they belong”. The idea was that this would not only attract the best people, but also help retain them and help the company become more diverse, an important goal in an industry that is not recognized for gender or racial diversity.

Maynard stressed the importance of having mentors and networks of employees who represent different backgrounds to help ensure that progression is fair and that executives understand staff needs. More generally, we might want to produce more positive representations of business life than The newbie either Succession. Otherwise, it’s no surprise that, like politics, the business world attracts a lot of people that many of us wouldn’t want to work for.

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