Why going to HR generally doesn't help targets of workplace abuse

Targets of workplace abuse have told me that when they reported their experiences to Human Resources, the workplace abuse generally got worse. Advocates said:

HR is there to protect a company's legal interests, not the worker. As soon as a you go to HR [about workplace abuse], you can expect things to get worse because you have just given them notice they need to get their ducks in a row and get rid of you so you can't document anymore. It's better to quietly go to an employment lawyer who will tell you if you have a case, tell you how to document, and act as your advocate when you have a viable case.

HR gets their paycheck from the company, not you. They are not your advocate.

Going to Human Resources can be as effective as doing nothing, if not worse.

It is important to note that many HR professionals are targets of workplace abuse themselves.

What do you do instead? Advocates most commonly reported that leaving the organization was the most effective (and often the...

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Signs your toxic boss is subtly destroying your life

Work culture is top-down. So if those at the top believe passive-aggressive behaviors will help weed out bad employees, then you're at the mercy of abusive bosses who master the art of subtle abuse. And subtle abuse gets rewarded. "Research by the University of Buffalo School of Management finds that ... those who engage in harassment typically receive excellent reviews from their own supervisors and are exceptional at climbing the corporate ladder," says Glynis Sweeny in her Alternet article "8 traits of toxic managers."

The problem is that at best, you're left feeling shamed, isolated, drained, and fearful of losing your job. At worst, your abusive boss ruins your career, makes you question your value at work, and takes a toll on your personal life and health, leaving you with anxiety, depression, and suicidal thoughts.

Sweeny points to these eight cues that you have an abusive boss:

1. They don’t give constructive feedback. Good managers want you to...

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What to do — and not do — if you're abused at work

What do those who've experienced workplace abuse recommend to those still in it? Get out. Nothing you can do will stop the abuse.
 
What to avoid
Targets who stood up to workplace abuse, even with plenty of documentation, reported outcomes they said "weren't worth it":
  • Thousands of dollars in legal fees
  • Mental and emotional exhaustion
  • Health problems: sleeplessness, anxiety, and chest pains
  • Bad effects on family and other personal relationships
What to do
Former targets recommended making your well-being the number one priority:
  • Take medical leave
  • See a therapist
Ultimately, remember it's not you who is in the wrong.
 
 
 
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How businesses lose when they keep a bully on payroll

Those who've been abused at work say that abusers didn't just harm their health and personal relationships. Abusers actually harmed their organizations. Here's how:
  • Employees lose trust in employers who protect abusers. When they lose trust, their morale and productivity go down.
  • Productivity also decreases when great employees focus on fear of more abuse.
  • Employees lose money from absenteeism and turnover (not the kind that results from employers no longer needing certain skills), which costs organization big bucks in training.
  • Since great employees leave their organizations when abused, companies lose employees who would have helped build a better company.

When costs go up for organizations, taxpayers lose, too. Health care costs get externalized, costs that the employer would have been responsible for. 

No one wins when managers abuse employees.

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Yet another study links workplace abuse to suicides. When is enough enough?

I reported earlier that a Norwegian study revealed that abused targets are twice as likely to have suicidal thoughts than those who were never abused. Pioneer Heinz Leymann estimated that 10 percent of those bullied take their lives.

Researchers defined bullying as harassment, badgering, and freezing out that generally:

  • Occurred repeatedly over a period of time.
  • Involved two parties in which one had a higher ranking than the other.

It happens so often that there’s now a term for it. “Bullycide” happens when the cause of suicide is attributable to the victim having been bullied.

Now researchers in Australia report similar findings. Australian researchers determined that workplace bullying or harassment was associated with 1.54 greater odds of suicide ideation.


How workplace abuse can lead any of us to suicide (“bullycide”)

Findings show that none of us have a thick enough skin to be exempt from the workplace...

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Budget-friendly tips for starting a home-based business

Uncategorized Aug 10, 2020

By Amy Collett

Are you thinking about starting a business out of your home? If so, you probably know about the many advantages of using your home as a business headquarters, such as lower overhead costs, no commute, and flexibility in schedule.

But to reap the benefits, you must prepare and strategize your home-based business the right way. Otherwise, you will find it hard to succeed in the short term, much less the long term. Below are some practical, budget-friendly tips to help you start a home-based business on solid ground.

Consider Business Financing

First of all, it’s hard to start a business when you don’t have a lot of cash flow. To help reduce stress and give yourself solid footing as you launch your business, look into your options with small business funding. That way, you can get assistance to get any new equipment, inventory, additional staff, and other things that will help you get a good start.

Research government funding options, such as traditional SBA...

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To reduce the number of mass shootings, we must also look at abuse

Regardless of which side of the gun control debate we're on, we can agree on one thing: at the root of mass shootings is either mental illness, abuse, or both.

Nikolas Cruz, Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, Parkland, FL
February 14, 2018
17 killed
 
"[Attorney Jim] Lewis said Cruz was a loner and 'a little quirky,' and the family hosting him knew there had been some disciplinary problems and fights, but Cruz had never expressed any discontent toward his former teachers or classmates. 'He was a smaller kid and (there's) some indication there might have been some bullying going on....' the lawyer said."
— Eliott C. McLaughlin and Madison Park, CNN
Omar Saddiqui Mateen, Pulse Night Club
June 12, 2016
49 killed

"Brice Miller went to Southport Middle School and St. Lucie West Centennial High School with Mateen and described him as non-violent. He also said Mateen was bullied. 'You could tell it hurt his feelings,' Miller said, 'but he would laugh it...

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9 rights every worker should have

No matter the experience, education, skill, personality, or contribution to an organization, every human should have basic rights. Every worker should have a right to feel:

  1. A sense of belonging. Workers should have a right to feel like we are included in an organization and part of a team.
  2. Valued. Workers should have a right to feel like our contributions have worth and importance.
  3. Respected. Workers should have a right to dignity and have our human needs and individual strengths and weaknesses honored.
  4. Healthy. Workers should have a right to feel strong. We should have a right to work in environments that promote well-being.
  5. Accomplished. Workers should have a right to information and resources necessary to do our jobs well so we can feel productive.
  6. Supported. Workers should have a right to feel heard and receive appropriate responses when we voice concerns.
  7. Fairly treated. Workers should have a right to reasonable...
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How to know when a boss is abusive or just difficult

If you've been abused before, you may be waiting for the other shoe to drop when dealing with a new boss. But difficult does not mean abusive. Understanding your personality type and others' personality types may help you better appreciate others' strengths and understand how to work with their weaknesses.

Here's a quick guide to the four personality types to help you better get along with difficult people. (Most people have a primary type and a secondary type, and opposite corners have the most difficulty in getting along because they operate the most differently.)


GET IT DONE
Task-oriented and aggressive

Get It Dones are results-focused. They have aggressive, competitive natures and are independent.

Strengths:

  • Objective-focused
  • Know what they want and how to get there
  • Communicates quickly
  • Gets to the point
  • Hardworking
  • Does not shy away from conflict

Weaknesses:

  • Sometimes tactless and brusque
  • Can get impatient
  • Can be an "ends justify the means" type of person

How to...

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I have a vision of healthy and safe workplaces

The Civil Rights Act of 1964 made discrimination on race, color, religion, sex, or national origin and sexual harassment illegal.

But 50 years later, workplaces are still unhealthy.

Fifty years later, employees still suffer from abuse of power at work. Fifty years later, employees still endure stress disorders and depression from verbal abuse, threatening, humiliating, or intimidating conduct, and sabotage. Fifty years later, our nation's most productive and moral employees fear an abusive boss might kick them down again, like a bulldog sitting in the corner ready to bite without warning.

Fifty years later, businesses suffer from decreased productivity, lower morale, and increased absenteeism when business owners tolerate a bully's destructive behavior. Fifty years later, businesses lose hundreds of thousands in expenses from high turnover when they allow abusers to make targets' lives miserable. Fifty years later, businesses suffer from higher health care...

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