Employee Abuse Runs Rampant In America

Corporate culture, HR hound dogs who hunt the squeaky wheel, bullying, abuse and politics abound for working America today.  For those who still have a job, America has turned into a survivor game.  No longer are workers respected and treated as human beings.   Even those most educated and skilled are treated like pond scum

There is even a name for it, bosshole and 20% of all workers claim their manager actually sabotaged their job.  Absolute power corrupts absolutely and the corporate structure of feudal lords all loyal to the CEO king have resulted in a toxic work environment for most.  Bullying in the workplace is common and 37% of all workers have experienced it.  Over 50% of employers admitted to incidents of workplace bullying with 25% of all HR employees admitting to being bullied themselves.

 

workplace bullying

 

How did America go from the great middle class where people were empowered and respected in their jobs to this?  The Workplace Bullying Institute documents just how widespread employee abuse is in America.

One of the more interesting pieces on the WBI site describes who gets targeted for workplace abuse.  It's not what you think.  The people most targeted are the ones most capable.  Believing your exceptional, perfect work will get the abuse to stop is therefore a myth.

WBI research findings from our year 2000 study and conversations with thousands of targets have confirmed that targets appear to be the veteran and most skilled person in the workgroup.

Targets are independent. They refuse to be subservient. Bullies seek to enslave targets. When targets take steps to preserve their dignity, their right to be treated with respect, bullies escalate their campaigns of hatred and intimidation to wrest control of the target's work from the target.

Targets are more technically skilled than their bullies. They are the "go-to" veteran workers to whom new employees turn for guidance. Insecure bosses and co-workers can't stand to share credit for the recognition of talent. Bully bosses steal credit from skilled targets.

We see the firings statistics in the BLS JOLTS report.  Every month a good 1.7 million people are involuntarily separated from their job, about 1.3% of the workforce, and these rates are pre-recession levels.  There are roughly 140 million people working in the United States in some capacity as employees,  These days being fired is so common, we call it disposable worker syndrome.  America suffers severely from the disease, resulting in destroyed lives and a less productive economy.

Bossholes are so common, ABC 20/20 produced an entire hour devoted to the topic.  Captured is an interview with someone clearly abusive trying to link their abuse to success, which is at minimum spurious.  In other words, these days bosses try to justify their extreme abuse by claiming that's the ticket to the top.  Of course it is not, but that is how toxic corporate culture and business mentality towards workers has become.

 There is even a petition to get rid of bad bosses in America.  Yet television networks push reality shows like Survivor and Donald Trump, all creating some non-reality that workplace abuse is normal and therefore acceptable.  It isn't.  When America's economy was strongest was also when the United States had the strongest worker protections and culture.  That has all be eroded and replaced by serfs and aristocracy right here in America and the results are giving the same inefficient non-explosive economies as it was during those times.  Meritocracy will stay dead along with the U.S. worker and middle class as long as business management is allowed to be so abusive and exploitive to their employees.

The reality is bossholes cost the U.S. economy $360 billion a year in lost productivity.  The toll on workers is assuredly worse, with lost income, and a host of health problems that accompany toxic work environments.

Yet the United States cannot pass a single law protecting workers from being exposed to all sorts of abuse in the workplace.  There is a movement to pass anti-bullying in the workplace legislation, but business lobbyists have blocked it at every turn.  Right now the healthy workplace bill is being considered in nine states.  The typical corporate lobbyists, including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, have managed to stop the healthy workplace bill to date.  Considering the costs associated with employee abuse, one would think business would want to change.  Ah, but not so, businesses love their bullies and will protect them at any cost.

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Comments

Employee Abuse

Indeed. Of course, the reason for this is obvious. It's because the combination of trade agreements that outsource jobs, combined with massive record immigration, that has flooded the labor market. Nobody beats the law of supply and demand: when there are 100 desperate people competing for every job workers are disposable and employers will treat them like dirt, because they can.

That's why the rich are pushing for an immigration 'reform' that will likely push America's population past the billion mark by 2050 or so - and if you think that things are bad now, if immigration 'reform' passes, hold on to your seat belt.

No I am not 'scapegoating immigrants - shame on you! - I am pointing out that if the rate at which we allow foreign nationals to enter the country exceeds our ability to create jobs - and it is - then wages for the many will be pushed down, and profits for the few will soar. Period.

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Managment is usually short-sighted

I have been unlucky enough to work for some terrible bosses whose personal insecurity drove them to manipulate and abuse their employees. They were despised and turnover was high (this was when we still had a decent job market).

I have been lucky enough to also work for superb, caring bosses. Their basic human decency meant they treated employees with respect, honesty and compassion. In return, we worked our butts off for them. It was a win-win - they got first-class work, we were well-paid and well-treated. We both did the right thing and nobody kept score. The company had a huge waiting list of potential employees and an impeccable reputation for professional competence.

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Employee Abuse

I have not experienced this until recently working at the largest bank in the US. Not only am I middle-aged but formerly a manager at another bank until our operation site was closed and jobs moved elsewhere. The bullying that is occuring in our work place is writing names up on write boards of individuals that made errors and having the boards in view for the entire floor to see. Another is displaying that person's name and details up on overheads during team meetings. You are not welcomed to bring ideas that help improve processes. In this instance, you give an example; explain what the current process is and how to improve the process and it's benefits. I was told that I am not conforming to the direction of management and what direction we are being given is not from front-line management but from above. Any process that is introduced is not being tested by users. Once testing is completed, that's it. If you respond honestly about moral; they hold it against you and isolate you. You are labeled. Being a middle aged person, jobs are not being offered out to our demographic. While I agree that some things need to be done a specific way due to federal laws protecting the consumer. Some of you reading this may be asking why I did not take another position similar to what I held before. Well, being middle-aged and my gender does not work that way anymore either. I may be a threat to some because of my previous experience and work ethic. Appreciate everyone that you work with and help everyone grow. I see the American workforce being almost labor camp like enviroments. Not respected, dehumanized and berated. Yes, corporate America has managed to take the word human out of human services as well.

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In 2001 I was downsized from

In 2001 I was downsized from an aircraft manufacturer...I returned in 2005. Or so I thought. I accepted the job offer when I was living out of state. I moved back to my former location the week Hurricane Frances hit our area. My job offer was rescinded without notice. I re-applied and was offered a different position at a lower rate of pay. When asked about the status of my previous job offer, HR stated that "they had no record of that offer."

The staff and supervisor in my shop refused to train the majority of the new people. He would also do his best to call people out for no apparent reason if a job was not done properly...without any training of course. I was the only person that would not tolerate the abuse. As a result, myself and all of the people that were hired at the same time were downsized 4 years later.

To survive in that workplace, and I am sure others, you have to be a real a** crawler.

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