A fan of humiliating the guilty party at the workplace - by Trevor Roberts
Trevor Roberts expresses an interesting sentiment in his article:
- 'I hate to publicly admit this, but I am a fan of humiliating the guilty party at the workplace. Why? Well it sends a clear message to other employees that one: this type of behavior should not be deemed acceptable. Two: its makes the bully realize their actions do indeed have consequence, but more importantly they get a taste of their own medicine.'
See the important disclaimer below.
But 'workplace bullying' isn't as simple as Trevor suggests. It is not just one nasty bully picking on a target.
It is in fact usually an instinctual behaviour of humans (and other animals) when they attempt on mass to rid the group of a perceived threat.
The perceived threat is usually someone who has, or might, speak up about something dishonorable that would hurt the group if word got out. The leaders of the group stick together in labeling the person who has, or might, speak up as an evil that must be expelled.
The person targeted probably thinks they are just doing their job and bringing something to the attention of the bosses. But the bosses perceive this as dobbing or whistleblowing and a danger to them. Lower ranking workers follow their leader (it's a built in instinct) and soon the whole workplace, including former trusted colleagues, are intent on expelling the perceived trouble maker.
This behaviour is called mobbing. The British call it bullying, a word that misses the instinctual nature and the 'whole of organisation' vehemence of mobbing.
Trevor is correct. If this is happening: get another job, quit your job and THEN never stop telling what happened.
A good example is UK doctor Steve Bolsin. He saw patient deaths due to incompetence in Bristol UK, the bosses ignored him, he got a job in Australia (he realised that his bosses would prevent him ever working again as a doctor in the UK) and THEN he blew the whistle publicly. Now he continues to speak out about medical incompetence and the need for health whistleblowers to speak out as advocates for patients.
Naming 'the guilty party' is certainly appealing. Unfortunately the whistleblower (target) is not aware of the identity of the 'most guilty party' because it is often a senior manager, often in HR or so called 'Governance', who directs the action from behind the scenes. The target only knows about the junior minions in the organisation who are tasked to find any way of expelling the feared person who dares suggests that something is amiss in the organisation.
Some HR departments act as well oiled machines for getting rid of anyone who does, or is likely to, speak up about a dishonorable situation festering in the organisation that the organisation wants to cover up. They advise bosses on 'HR strategies' and 'performance management tools', they conduct disciplinary investigations of spurious made up complaints, they arrange 'independent reviews' by non-independent bedfellows and they ignore the plain and obvious truth.
But the target only gets to deal with the minions. They never get to find out who is the director of the torment at senior levels.
Still, by all means, speak out if you can. Name the problem and those involved. Always tell the truth (it is not defamatory to tell the truth in Australia as far as I know; check your local laws). The truth is defined as something you could prove in court. If you offer an opinion make sure it is both reasonable AND based on the facts that are provable; and label it clearly as an opinion.
Better still blow the whistle anonymously. Why risk damage to your career, your family and your health by speaking out openly?
But first: get the documents you need. (No documents = you lose).
Consider, and obtain advice about, recording your own conversations secretly. As far as I know it is not illegal to record your own conversation in Australia (check local laws). It is illegal to play back the secret recording to anyone, so do NOT do that EVER, except to your lawyer or if ordered to do so by a court.
That is how the recording will become useful. Your adversary will be caught if he/she has lied about what they said. Later your adversary will not want to lie about what he/she said if he/she suspects you have a recording of the conversation. Nothing stops you saying or writing truthfully about what was said just as though the recording did not exist. Never record a conversation you are not part of.
Disclaimer: The author is NOT a lawyer and does not give legal advice. All statements are only opinions and no reliance should be placed on this article. You must obtain independent professional legal advice specific to your situation.
None of the opinions expressed below are endorsed by this author. Google 'covert recording'. Obtain independent professional legal advice specific to your situation.
Covert recording of meetings
Covert Recording admitted.(Australia)
UK opinion from the employers perspective.
UK opinion from the employers perspective 2
Australian opinion. In my opinion the fact that even if a conversation is recorded one can still write and speak about what was said during a meeting as though it had never been recorded (subject to any censorship applied by the employer) is overlooked by this article.
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