The Bullied Organization
I had a chance to chat with blog buddy GL Hoffman (of Jobdig fame) recently. I've been talking a lot about workplace bullying recently, and since he's in the business of placing people in jobs, his opinions and observations seem perfect for finding out about companies where bullying runs rampant.
CF: In what kinds of organizations do you see more bullying?
GL: I think organizations that MAY be more prone, and this is generalizing a lot here, would be male and those organizations that are more locker-room oriented (language-wise, comparison with one another, etc.)
CF: Are there certain industries or kinds of companies where you've seen these behaviors?
GL: Maybe sales organizations. They tend to bully those who can't keep up.
CF: We've both seen leaders drive the culture of the company. In looking at the culture, what are some of red flags for identifying a bullying organization?
GL: Biggest characteristic would be a lack of respect throughout the company, from the smallest detail to the biggest. And that would be the focus of my attempts at "fixing" the environment.
CF: If you are dealing with a bullying organization, how do you approach prospective job placement applicants?
GL: I think I would make sure my candidate is tougher, more thick skinned, and very self assured.
Thanks, GL, for shedding some light on this tough subject, and you are right: it's very hard to generalize since each company is different. It's obvious your insights and experience are pretty valuable in this field. From my observations, besides sales organizations (which focus on fast-paced results), I've also seen companies on the opposite end of the spectrum (low accountability and unpredicatable results) succeed in bullying as well. Their employees just seem to have more time on their hands to get caught up in drama and think about these kinds of games.
So... what are YOUR observations about companies where "free range bullying" is allowed and encouraged?