Workplace bullying is most commonly against a subordinate by someone with title and organizational power, yet it does not discriminate by rank. Research has shown that managers can be bullied by subordinates who have varying sources of power over their manager or managers can bully subordinates using their managerial rank once obtained by previous relation with upper management or promotion within the organization. The aspects of workplace bullying is somewhat torturous in the case of supervisors playing dirty using their own made up rules to increase pressure and stress on employees they want to force out of their department or the organization. The manager has the power to control incentives or reprimands of the employees. Management should be aware that there are some subordinates that may have critical expertise, knowledge and understanding of his or her rights as an employee to stop the torture or abuse of a manager.
The workplace abuse from a manager may center on lack of respect towards the employee, communicated through tone of voice or glares, stalking or following the employee around for no reason, treating seniority as if it is of no importance unless it affects his or her favorite employee, or giving the silent treatment. Working in the ‘front line’ to witness such abuse could be very unpleasant. Human resource professionals should know that workplace bullying is psychological violence towards employees whether they are in management positions down to entry level positions. Managers will try to use the ‘throw the rock and run’ mentally and hide behind rules or policies that is interpreted as they see fit. Workplace bullying can be either verbal abuse or work sabotage that targets the employees to be unsuccessful in meeting set goals or become completely unproductive.
There are several personality types of managerial bullying: 1. the constant critic who is hypercritical, looking for incompetencies and errors in the subordinate. This results in belittling the employees and encouraging an unproductive staff. 2. The gatekeeper who is infatuated with control and blames performance problems on the unsuspected employees. 3. The two-headed snake that undermines his or her employees to get ahead using the divide and conquer method to obtain promotions, and 4. The power hungry manager who loves to humiliate or control the employees through yelling or threats of termination for no reason but to thrive off of fear of his or her employees. The next few articles will expound and explain more on the affects of workplace bullying and the impact it places on organizations in the long term.