Controlling /Abusive Behaviour at Work

September 12, 2023

14th Aug 2023

The day England rugby headquarters nearly ran out of white chairs: yes I’m talking about last Saturday’s match when fans were subjected to what can only be hoped is the worst game we will ever see for a long time.  An English friend living in Canada described the adverts for erectile disfunction and hair loss as the best moments of the match, while many others in rugby chat celebrated hearing the final whistle…

During a match where at one point, we had 3 English players sitting on the naughty chairs-it’s didn’t make for happy viewing for any England supporter,

With one yellow card being upgraded to a red card by the television match official for another shoulder tackle with no mitigating circumstances, it feels like a sense of “deja vu”. Needless to say this has prompted inevitable discussions on social media about what behind the scenes strings are being pulled to ensure that people receive the minimum number of match bans aside, particularly when there are some international competitions on the horizon. I can only wonder about any administration team that would want to be associated with a repeat offenders over the years and especially those who has not gained any benefit from the “tackle school” course offered to those wishing to reduce their number of banned matches.

I feel the same applies to companies who cannot make the decision to ask an employee who has repeatedly transgressed internal disciplinary rules to leave. The directors who allow this to happen allow one member of staff to continue to behave in way makes other staff feel unsettled in many ways.

I know of a head of department who was repeatedly targeting the women in the team under him. He singled one out for regular “One to Ones”, and spent over 80% of this time speaking about his 2 failed marriages and complaining about his autistic daughter. He refused to listen to concerns raised by this member of his team about a large project and when the sh!t hit the fan, immediately took her off as team manager. It wasn’t until one comment made by another female member allowed others all to compare notes that HR were pulled in and matters escalated. As I write, I understand that the matter has now gone to the company owners and the eventual “voluntary resignation”.

Coincidentally I met up with a friend yesterday who happened to mention that she had a similar issue at her company. However, in her instance, the problem she was facing was that none of the staff who had raised concerns to her in her capacity of head of HR, were prepared to document the issues for fear of being targeted by the person involved. As a result, my friend can only discipline the offender for things that she observes which is going to draw the whole process out for much longer. It’s not easy to put our name to a problem for fear of retribution and lack of support, and this is where high profile companies and organisation should, in my opinion, lead by example.

There are no mitigating factors for anyone who has been told that their actions are not acceptable and yet continue to offend.

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