Corporate bullying seems to be on the rise, it damages people, brand, reputations and stops innovation dead in its tracks. Not dealing with bullying could result in an organisation that has elements of bullying in its culture. As per this thought provoking talk, a small percentage of society have psychopathic and narcissistic traits. People with these traits in organisations often successfully drive short-term profits as they will use any technique to get people to hit the numbers. In the long term however, the damage caused can come back to haunt the organisation. A properly structured and managed organisation could easily ensure that such individuals are spotted immediately and appropriately dealt with. What are some of the key elements any organisation requires to ensure they have the right managers at the right levels?:
- Roles and Responsibilities: Ensure that all people management roles include elements that clearly describe the outputs of their people management accountability’s. If their job spec only talks about the metrics they must achieve, and not what they must do to build a high performance team, the risk is they could turn to forceful methods to drive the numbers.
- Congruent Culture: It is the role of top management to ensure that the organisation is long-term viable based on profits, people and customers. The top are accountable to create an enabling environment where people can perform their best, while being treated as adults ( respectfully and with dignity) . The top must lead the conversation to co-create the ideal culture that is in tune with the organisational positioning and ensures the best level of staff engagement. Once this culture is agreed and codified into behavioural statements, it should be lived from the top and linked to the managers roles and performance management. As they say, you get what you measure!
- Performance Management: Once roles and responsibilities include managers full responsibilities (staff, metrics, customer) and are linked to the culture, best practice management would become a norm throughout the organisation.
- Talent management: Once roles and responsibilities are clear and the culture is clear and being modelled, the development and growth needs of people will become more apparent. People that are brilliant technically don’t always make good managers! The route to recognise and reward someone, should not necessarily be by making them a manager. It could rather be by acknowledging their performance as a specialist and pay them more in that role.
At the end of the day, if someone is bullied within an organisation, the buck must stop with the top management. There are of course many other factors that can assist to create more engaged and energised workforce’s. The list above is a very good place to start.