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The Bullying Boss

Turnover is a very important key performance indicator for the human resources department, That affects the overall organization’s performance, and if we look at the major underlining reason we will have to review the work of James K. Harter, Ph.D., Gallup’s chief scientist for workplace management, people leave companies because of factors that filter through the local work environment. At least 75% of the reasons for voluntary turnover can be influenced by managers.

Turnover is a very important key performance indicator for the human resources department, and according to PeopleKeep the cost adds up depending level as per the following:

  • 16 percent of annual salary for high-turnover, low-paying jobs (earning under $30,000 a year). For example, the cost to replace a $10/hour retail employee would be $3,328.
  • 20 percent of annual salary for midrange positions (earning $30,000 to $50,000 a year). For example, the cost to replace a $40k manager would be $8,000.
  • Up to 213 percent of annual salary for highly educated executive positions. For example, the cost to replace a $100k CEO is $213,000.

That affects the overall organization’s performance, and if we look at the major underlining reason we will have to review the work of James K. Harter, Ph.D., Gallup’s chief scientist for workplace management, people leave companies because of factors that filter through the local work environment. At least 75% of the reasons for voluntary turnover can be influenced by managers.

Gary Namie, PhD, director of the Workplace Bullying Institute, says these are the 25 most common tactics adopted by bullies, according to targeted victims:

  1. Falsely accusing someone of “errors” not actually made.
  2. Staring, glaring, being nonverbally intimidating and clearly showing hostility.
  3. Discounting the person’s thoughts or feelings (“oh, that’s silly”) in meetings.
  4. Using the “silent treatment” to “ice out” and separate from others.
  5. Exhibiting presumably uncontrollable mood swings in front of the group.
  6. Making up own rules on the fly that even she/he does not follow.
  7. Disregarding satisfactory or exemplary quality of completed work despite the evidence.
  8. Harshly and constantly criticizing having a different ‘standard’ for the target.
  9. Starting, or failing to stop, destructive rumors or gossip about the person.
  10. Encouraging people to turn against the person being tormented.
  11. Singling out and isolating one person from co-workers, either socially or physically.
  12. Publicly displaying “gross,” undignified, but not illegal, behavior.
  13. Yelling, screaming, and throwing tantrums in front of others to humiliate a person.
  14. Stealing credit for work done by others.
  15. Abusing the evaluation process by lying about the person’s performance.
  16. Rebelling for failing to follow arbitrary commands.
  17. Using confidential information about a person to humiliate privately or publicly.
  18. Retaliating against the person after a complaint was filed.
  19. Making verbal put-downs/insults based on gender, race, accent or language, disability.
  20. Assigning undesirable work as punishment.
  21. Making undoable demands– workload, deadlines, duties — for person singled out.
  22. Launching a baseless campaign to oust the person.
  23. Encouraging the person to quit or transfer rather than to face more mistreatment.
  24. Sabotaging the person’s contribution to a team goal and reward.
  25. Ensuring the failure of person’s project by not performing required tasks: signoffs, taking calls, working with collaborators.

“All of these forms of bullying are problematic,” says Anne Kreamer, author of It’s Always Personal: Navigating Emotion in the New Workplace. “Bullies suck the air out of offices, destroying camaraderie, robbing work of normal satisfactions, and demoting workers from bringing their best performance to the job. Bullies turn work into a fearful gauntlet to run each day. And there’s no question that working in unfair conditions will create a level of anxiety and stress, of powerlessness, that will infiltrate personal life.”

Key Findings of the 2017 Study

  • 19% of Americans are bullied, another 19% witness it
  • 61% of Americans are aware of abusive conduct in the workplace
  • 4 million Americans are affected by it
  • 61% of bullies are bosses, the majority (63%) operate alone
  • 40% of bullied targets are believed to suffer adverse health effects
  • 29% of targets remain silent about their experiences
  • 71% of employer reactions are harmful to targets
  • 60% of coworker reactions are harmful to targets
  • To stop it, 65% of targets lose their original jobs
  • 77% of Americans support enacting a new law

An earlier online study by the Workplace Bullying Institute explored the impact of bullying on the targets’ health. Upon asking respondents to complete a 33-item symptoms checklist, WBI found that the top five health problems among those bullied at work are:

  • anxiety (76%),
  • loss of concentration (71%)
  • disrupted sleep (71%)
  • hypervigilance symptoms (60%)
  • and stress headaches (55%).

Confronting a Bullying Boss

For some people, confronting the bully trumps over maintaining their position in the company. Others would prefer to learn coping mechanisms while they search for a new opportunity. Whatever the decision, be sure to be prepared for the possible outcome and you must be comfortable with the fact that you could be disciplined or lose your job for standing your ground.

Here are some steps for handling the situation in the most effective way possible:

  • Intervene early. Pay close attention to early warning signs that your usually mild-mannered boss is about to morph into a bully.
  • Set limits. Don’t sacrifice and work unreasonable hours or accept discourteous behavior. You won’t do yourself, your colleagues, or your company any good.
  • Stand up for yourself. Remember, bullies, count on you being passive about their behavior. Show the bully that he made a mistake in targeting you. Address the issue with him in a calm and assertive manner. The goal is to show that you can defend yourself without being aggressively mean in return.
  • Be specific. When addressing your boss’ behavior, have specific examples ready of how he has offended you because chances are high that he will want proof. If you don’t have examples prepared and ready to go, it will look like you are overreacting. Keep in mind though, that most bullying bosses will not take responsibility for their mean behavior. In fact, they will likely shift the blame for back to you or simply brush it off saying that he doesn’t even remember it happening. Recognize this for what it is and do not falsely believe that you are to blame for his choices.
  • Be confident. Bullying bosses are able to quickly discern whom they can control and manipulate. Avoid looking nervous, insecure, or defeated. No matter what happens during your discussion stay strong and remain professional. Keep your chin up and do not give in to the pressure.
  • Recognize what you can control and what you cannot. Remember, you have no control over what other people say or do. But, you do have control over your response. Keep your confrontation free of emotion and anger. If you can’t address your boss in a calm manner, then you need to postpone confronting him. You also need to be prepared for your boss to retaliate. Be sure you have a plan in place in case your boss fires you for addressing his mean behavior.
  • Continue to work hard. Do not allow your boss’ bullying to derail you at work. For instance, don’t spend time talking with other co-workers about what is happening. Instead, focus on continuing to produce high-quality work. Also, do not allow the turmoil your boss creates to cause you to fall behind on projects. And be sure to keep good documentation of all your successes.
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The Bullying Boss
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The Bullying Boss
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Turnover is a very important key performance indicator for the human resources department, That affects the overall organization’s performance, and if we look at the major underlining reason we will have to review the work of James K. Harter, Ph.D., Gallup's chief scientist for workplace management, people leave companies because of factors that filter through the local work environment. At least 75% of the reasons for voluntary turnover can be influenced by managers.
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HR MasterKey
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By HamadJ87

Diverse Human Resources experience spanning semi-government, startups, business consulting, oil/gas, petrochemicals and multinational corporations. Deep understanding of multiple sectors of economy. Drives business performance, people and culture change, and transformation initiatives through encouragement and empowerment, and human capital management expertise. Leverages best practices, and regional experience to identify challenges to deliver sustained results. Overhauling the organization's Policies to reduce redundancies in:
o Manpower Planning.
o Budgeting.
o Recruitment.
o Training.
o Development.

A change champion, excited to explore new and better ways of positively improving the world of work and business, through transformational leadership. An approachable connector, engaging and accessible to coworkers with whom people sense the genuine interest in their personal well-being. Adding to that being a dynamic public speaker, engaging presenter with exceptional platform skills.

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