How Management Insecurities can Manifest in Employee Bullying

With ever-increasing workloads, cross-team collaboration is needing to be improved across all sectors of the financial services industry. As daily workplace pressures grow, interactions between employees and managers; giving rise to friction.

However without proper regulation, even outwardly minor acts of rudeness, such as persistently overlooking a specific team member can have negative effects on their productivity. Bullying Managers can easily validate upsetting or picking on their employees by telling themselves that they are only pushing for them to perform their roles to the best of their abilities.

They may even believe that anyone who feels insulted or breaks down as a result of their behaviour are not cut out for the company culture or the profession in question. But how do you know you are actually bullying someone rather than merely interacting with an overly sensitive individual?

View article on different types of workplace harassment.

Human Resources Psychologists still disagree about how to define and diagnose bullying in the modern workplace. The first scholar to examine the behavior of institutionalised workplace bullying was from Norway and used the word mobbing to describe such actions of hostility in 1974.

Management Bullying to employees can appear in different forms from being ignored from projects, a consistent lack of feedback after a project has been completed (successfully or not), small comments or undermining remarks; things said in a joking way which have questioned the character or competence of the employee to other team members.


As an Employee being bullied, what can you do?

Of course, its normal to take any kind of workplace treatment to heart; however, try to put yourself in your managers shoes; who is their line manager? What stresses do they have? Typically, they are responsible for not only their own productivity but the success and productivity of your entire team.

When your Manager is secure in their role, there is less urgency to complete tasks in panic mode or take the project to a negative place. Investigate if you are being singled out; if you notice that its not just you; it may be pressure from higher up staff that is having a knock-on effect on the mistreatment of your entire team.

Signs your Manager doesn’t like you.

You may find that you are the only one being singled out or bullied. If that is the case, try to speak to your Manager ono-to-one to see if there is anything you can do to improve your professional relationship.

Employers have a duty of care to their employees to provide a secure and safe environment to work in; failure to meet this requirement violates EU Directives for European companies and other local employment laws.

The following countries have local policies in place to prevent workplace bullying and are starting to acknowledge the importance of addressing bullying as a form of harassment:

  1. The Netherlands.
  2. Denmark.
  3. Sweden.
  4. France.
  5. Canada.
  6. Australia.

However, the global HR sector requires a greater push worldwide in order to recognise how prevalent the problem is.

Holding wellness workshops educating management about bullying is a positive step in the right direction. This will also cultivate a more understanding environment for sufferers to speak up about more senior team members. Meanwhile, we can all ensure we are doing everything we can to treat our colleagues with respect.

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