Tuesday, December 6, 2011
The work playground
School has bullies—and so do many offices. We never really get off the playground. Some people are better at sports. Others get picked last. Others get picked on. You know where I am going with this. It doesn’t just stop with graduation.
Annie Finnigan wrote about workplace bullies in the Dec-Jan 2011 Working Mother.
One woman was an exec assistant to a mayor. He kept saying—in front of others—that he didn’t need her opinion or this or that was above her pay grade. When she got pregnant, he told her later she looked so much better now that her baby was born. He told people she had “baby brain” and belittled her desire for a promotion.
Fifty-four million adults have experienced this type of behavior.
One woman likened it to being in an abusive marriage. Yet, in one survey, more than half said women were most likely to be bullies…so think about that.
Companies and HR depts need to be mindful of this. Have a policy on it. Create formal enforcement procedures. Make repeat offenders go to anti-bullying clinics.
Employee evaluations of bosses is also an idea whose time has come.
I used to have a boss who fired people all the time—but he forgot, so they came back to work the next day.