Rein in resumé to give potential employer a break
Q: Our workplace has been a continual revolving door of employee resignations due to the bullying behaviour of our departmental leader. The atmosphere is poisonous, employees are depressed and distressed. As a result, clients are not receiving the best of service. Our staff has rallied together and has approached management both formally and informally on numerous occasions to no avail. We are now desperate. What can we do?
A: The details of your letter suggest that the issues at work have been occurring for some time and have deteriorated to an extreme level. When fear and anxiety are so prevalent as a result of the bullying behaviour of your boss, it is no wonder that nerves are frayed and people are leaving. With so much staff turnover within the last few years, I can’t imagine that senior management hasn’t noticed, but bullies are usually quite clever in either camouflaging their behaviour and/ or blaming others.
However, you suggest that nothing has been done about your concerns in spite of the fact that you have followed protocol and have raised your concerns at progressively higher levels in the chain of command.
Q: As a new employee, I was trained by a co-worker. However, this individual was and continues to be rude to me. Although she behaves well in front of our boss, when he is not around, she complains about everyone and everything and is rude to others. People are uncomfortable around her as she is poisoning the environment. Should I speak to my boss about this?
A: First of all, you have every right to ask this person to stop criticizing others. Ask to speak to her directly. Find a quiet corner or meet her for lunch. Indicate that you are concerned about some issues in the workplace and the need for a harmonious work environment. Point out to the individual how you are feeling when you hear this colleague complaining and make her aware of how you see this affecting others. Ask the colleague to be more cautious about criticizing other colleagues.
Hopefully, this gentle and caring approach will help the colleague to
As a result, I agree it is probably time to take that last difficult, but crucial step.
Since there is no HR manager in your organization, I suggest that your group take your concerns to the chairman of the personnel committee for your organization and/or directly to the board chairman. Your concerns must be stated clearly, with a description of incidents and dates and the impact on individuals and the workplace. This information must include first-hand accounts and not rumours or third-hand stories.
I suggest that you request an organization review of your department be conducted by an outside party to confirm your statements and to assess the organization culture. Do not make any threats that will cause further problems. Appeal to the need to prevent the poor public relations that could arise from the exposure of bullying behaviour in such a prestigious organization. Be open to discussing resolutions.
I am always sad to learn that leadership bullying still occurs in a world where good leadership is defined by shared vision, teamwork and collaborative problem solving. Good luck! If your actions do not bring resolution to your issue, there is no choice but to seek other employment as quickly as you can. think twice before speaking. However, if the behaviour continues, then approach your manager. When meeting the manager, identify the issue and ask for help in dealing with the colleague. This alerts your manager to the issue without seeming to be a complainer yourself. The next step is up to the manager. Q: As a small-business owner, I love my work, but I’ve noticed that I’ve started to experience some anxiety lately as I just can’t seem to get any uninterrupted time for myself for my family. I worry about unfinished tasks and have started attending to my workplace on the weekend. Do you have any suggestions? A: First of all, congratulations on being a small-business owner! However, two of the problems owners often encounter as they grow is, a) when is the appropriate time to hire additional staff? and b) what needs to be delegated? Based on your correspondence, this seems to be part of your problem. Because you appear to be doing multiple jobs in addition to leadership, you are not leaving yourself time to do any strategic thinking. In fact, you are caught up in dayto-day issues.
Look around you, write down all of the tasks and activities that you are engaged in. Group them and then determine if you can create a new job and hire someone to take those items off your busy plate. Evaluate where you spend your time and determine what additional items you can move into the new job description. Next, hire an employee to do the new job you have now outlined.
It is important to note that when the new employee does come on board, you need to train them well and hard as it is, let them do their job. After all, there is nothing worse than an entrepreneur who interferes in the work tasks that have been assigned.
If time management still seems to be a problem, set aside a block of time on your calendar for concentrated thinking. Avoid answering the phone, tune out the email notifications on your computer and put the BlackBerry on a nearby shelf. Finally, try to reserve two time slots a day to return phone messages and be sure your voicemail states your intention.