Workplace bullying

From patupaiarehe:


I posted this link last week Alan, and I’m going to do it again. It seems relevant, IMHO, seeing as how ‘confidential settlements’ are being discussed…

The people at the heart of this story are silenced. They have been paid off to keep quiet.

It is all part of the emerging New Zealand silent class. These people have won cases against employers, but as part of their settlement, they are gagged.

There is an emerging culture of paid off silence across the country. Journalists can’t detail the stories as few will risk whatever outcome they have worked to achieve, by going public with their own story.

For most, the settlement will be the only positive to emerge from the damage inflicted at their place of work.

They are required to shut up because the truth is damaging. They are shut down because employers do not want the public knowing the truth. Councils, universities, hospitals and others want to protect their image and will manipulate settlements in a bid to mask the true level of workplace turnover.

Today these silent New Zealanders walk our streets with knowledge and experience that can not, and will not be shared. Yet, the very experience they have if shared publicly, may offer solutions to the workplace violence which has been described as nearing epidemic proportions.

Psychopathic workplace intimidation, (I refuse to use the word ‘bullying’ as I feel it belittles the violent reality of what happens at work), is real. The damage is long lasting and for some staff it is the workplace equivalent of post traumatic stress disorder.

You don’t need a mortar shell to go off to bring you close to break down. A dedicated workplace psychopath can do it all, just more slowly and deliberately.

Many reading this column will know of the creep of fear that occurs at weekends when they have to face the Monday morning dread, still days away.

PWI is widespread across New Zealand working life.  It is planned, malicious, vicious and designed to belittle and disempower.  It is always a power game and one that is often disguised in language and conduct designed to mirror the appearance of successful management culture.

We welcome the popularity of intimidatory violent conduct into our homes and lives when Gordon Ramsey the chef who abuses staff for ratings is on TV. Other reality TV programmes from Survivor to My Kitchen Rules to The Bachelor include public put downs, conniving closed-door conduct, exclusion tactics, backstabbing and humiliation as a routine part of entertainment.

Popular culture has made its way to the workplace where identical tactics of humiliation and intimidation are seen as the new wave of management.

Alongside the emergence of workplace bullying has been the growth of a side industry; a lucrative business of independent consultants helping people making claims of work place intimidation and violence. These consultants are the New Zealand equivalent of ambulance chasing lawyers.

And that is not to say they don’t have a job to do. They do, but when money changes hands from employer to independent employment consultant, the relationship is business and it immediately stops being independent. Those who pay – say.

And those consulting companies that want future work advising employers on their work-place intimidation practises are unlikely to get future work if they are constantly found to be siding with employees taking employers to task.

The Labour Department needs to treat the issue seriously and become the arbiter of workplace issues where intimation and violence is used against staff. It is a workplace hazard and it needs the same independent governance and oversight as any other issue. The conflict of interest between paid employment consultant and employers must be removed.

That is edited a bit, the whole article is at Sunlive:  Opening up about workplace bullying

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2 Comments

  1. patupaiarehe

     /  June 28, 2017

    Thank you Pete, for giving this article the audience it deserves.

  2. Trumpenreich

     /  June 28, 2017

    “Psychopathic workplace intimidation, (I refuse to use the word ‘bullying’ as I feel it belittles the violent reality of what happens at work), is real. The damage is long lasting and for some staff it is the workplace equivalent of post traumatic stress disorder.”

    You are right, “bully” conjures up the school yard, but really in the adult work place it is an UNLAWFUL SUSTAINED BEHAVIORAL PATTERN OF INTIMIDATION and HARASSMENT.

    I’m pretty sure I got ptsd from PWI. I don’t think I have been in an employment situation that hasn’t had some kind of bullying from the low grade type Bitter Bitch co workers and drop kick management through to the Machiavellian psychopath who schemes and torments victims just for the gratuitous thrill.

    Unfortunately I’m a bit of a non conformer ( just ask Pete ) and bullies have an inbuilt radar that I always end up appearing on.

    My observation is that it is not just ONE bully but the WHOLE workplace culture that is TOXIC.

    That is what makes it really difficult to deal with PWI.

    Humans are social animals and have an almost desperate need for social acceptance and harmony. Psychos can exploit this to the MAX with their manipulative mind games.