I know some of you work in Human Resources (HR) and help targets of workplace abuse. And for that, I thank you. However, the sad truth is that you are in a tiny minority of HR representatives who advocate for the target because you work in a safe and healthy work environment in which higher-ups want to do the right thing.
In most cases, HR does nothing — unless you count retaliates or terminates the target. They work for management, not employees, so even if HR reps do want to help, their hands are usually tied, meaning it's a management problem.
It's not just management's responsibility to create a workplace abuse policy but also to make sure HR reps enforce it. Otherwise it's not worth the paper it's printed on.
So what will it take to get management to create policies and enforce them? Sadly, it will take passing a law giving employees a right to sue for mistreatment to switch their liability. For years, higherups have considered liability as admitting there's a problem,...
Abuse is demeaning, disempowering, and humiliating. Here are some ways the abuse cuts deep, in order of how they often occur:
I work as a project coordinator in Boston.
The bullying begin after I moved to a different department. I wasn’t getting trained or work to do after moving to the new area. I would ask the project managers and director if there was anything I could help with. They’d say no but would give work to the other project coordinator. I expressed my concern of not getting work to do. Then my cubemate started turning the radio up loud, someone took my cell phone off my desk, and someone opened my desk drawer. Someone also broke the lock to my file cabinet and took things out of it.
The co-worker sent an email stating that I needed to sign in and out because he didn’t know where I was when I’d be to lunch or a meeting or after I supported our new assistant general manager at an event.
I asked myself: why would my group not want to work together?
Problems escalated when I went to Employee Relations. They were upset that I didn’t just let it go and let them continue...
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