‘Boss having affair with junior, and she has become bossy’
Question: My boss is having an affair with a junior colleague in the company. He offers her privileges which others don’t get, such as being present in interactions with the top management from the head office. She tries to dominate everyone in office and talks negatively about us behind our backs. How does one handle such a tricky situation?
Abhijit Bhaduri replies: n one of the organisations where I worked, a senior director from marketing and a colleague from finance (departments changed) announced their marriage. Everyone was taken by surprise. The normally active grapevine had not noticed anything amiss about their behaviour at work.
Some companies actively encourage the children of employees to seek opportunities in the firm. Others have a stated policy that discourages hiring “relatives” of employees — under such a scenario, one of the employees has to quit. Organisations do this to avoid conflict of interest, especially when one person is in a position of influence.
Sometimes, as part of a highpotential employee’s development plan, the person is given an opportunity for meetings with senior leaders in the firm. Such an employee may be nominated to a high-profile leadership development programme as a way to prepare for the next role.
Most organisations do not make a formal announcement of their highpotential employees list. Access to senior leadership or being mentored may be seen like favouritism, unless someone is in the know.
IBeing friendly with a colleague is not illegal. What someone describes as flirtatious behaviour may not appear so to others. Our perceptions are often the result of our biases and norms based on our moral code.
What two adults decide to do outside the workplace is their choice. It, however, gets complicated when your boss is in a position of influence. If the junior colleague is in the chain of command of your boss, it is certainly a matter of concern.
You could lodge a formal complaint with the HR department with a copy to your manager’s boss. This will bring the matter to everyone’s notice. The HR department may launch an investigation to find out whether your manager is violating a workplace norm. After all, when it
comes to matters of the heart, it is hard to stay rational. So, wait for the results of the investigation.
Abhijit Bhaduri is a digital transformation adviser and coach to organisations across the world.
He led HR teams at Wipro, Microsoft, PepsiCo and Colgate
Talk to us
Are you dealing with a tough boss? Are your colleagues being mean to you? Is your workplace culture hindering your growth? Is there anything that’s bothering you at work, which you’re wary of discussing internally? Talk to us. Our panel of experts will assist you in resolving your workplace related matters. ‘AdWise’ will appear on these pages every Thursday to help you with your workplace matters. Write to us at [email protected]group.com