Recent two incidents (videos) of a bank manager and another of a finance company manager making rounds in social media shouting, abusing, intimidating and insulting their subordinates in meeting should be enough to break the myth that bullying in modern workplaces where culture of employee first is claimed, no longer exist. Reality is that whether we accept it or not that-it was, it is and will continue to persist in organisations. It is a form of psychological violence. Paradoxes and masks will be there to cover it up as an image damage control exercise. Shouting, abusing, intimidating can insulting can be justified by some that it is required to extract performance and deliver results and without that people do not perform. Is it just like extracting juice from lemon by squeezing it till last drop? Does it sound justifiable or absurd?
Employee wellness is a buzzword in corporate world. Lot of activities, practices and initiatives are floated to promote wellness. But it is to be understood in correct perspective that whether the actions are aligned to achieve individual employee wellness or organizational wellness as a whole. Organisations wellness is cumulative result of individual employee wellness. When we proceed to achieve organizational wellness through PR exercise, or brand building or for fear of legal threat or employees protest or outer stakeholders (Buyers) by taking swift action on bullying reporting through social media, it does not deliver in long run. Because we do not intend to address the root cause of toxic work culture where bullying is justified as an effective tool to drive business but only take cosmetic action to neutralise the negative impact on employer brand.
Also read: Align your actions with genuine care
To prioritize employee wellness, policies and practices are to be re-worked and converted in to actions from top leadership to bottom. Eliminate the bullying from the organization, half of the employee wellness will automatically be increased because it is established that bullying causes anxiety, stress, depression, high blood pressure, increased absenteeism, loss of morale, low engagement and low productivity etc. Bullying eats wellness. It is a foremost barrier to wellness. Address the negative behaviours and practices, put zero tolerance policy on such behaviours. It will bring automatically culture of respect and dignity.
Encourage reporting of such incidents and act swiftly against perpetrator. HR should not take it casually and dismiss as not worth considering. Counsel the perpetrator and not the victim. Offer support to victim of bullying and harassment. Do not justify the bullying by branding the victim as poor performer or trouble maker or ineffective. Go to the root cause. Act with intent to eliminate bullying and increasing wellness that turns to a healthier workplace.
This edition cover story is on this sensitive much talked about but less acted upon subject where attempt is to understand the causes, put in the place the employee wellness programs and build a workplace that is admirable. Experts are here to share their wisdom.
If you like it let us know. If not, well, let us know that too.