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Bullying | 'Abusive' Head of HR destroyed employee's confidence

'Abusive' Head of HR destroyed employee's confidence

According to research from TUC, almost a third of employees have been bullied at work. The poll, which was carried out by YouGov for TUC, found that 72% of bullying cases are carried out by line managers. The study also flagged women as the more likely gender (34%) to be the victims of bullying.

Whilst bullying should surely be anathema to HR, reporting by one alleged victim of repeated workplace bullying should have earnest practitioners shuddering as the perpetrator was apprently the Head of HR.

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Comments (9)

  • Not just HR
    Not just HR
    Wed, 5 Jun 2019 1:53pm BST
    I have a couple of instances. In the first instance I worked in the marketing team for a large company I had an immediate boss and the head of department. I used to work 12 to 14 hour days as a rule because I loved my job, though the head of department (who had been moved from another role in the company) took a dislike to me because I had more experience than he had. Fast forward a few months and I have returned to work after an accident that resulted in a serious head injury - I couldn't work the hours that I used to because I was still recovering from my injury and got criticised and given warnings about that. He would also pretend that he had told me things when he hadn't to make me think that I couldn't rely on my memory - luckily my line manager had my back (as far as he could) and would reassure me that "no, that wasn't the case" and that this was something new that he had thrown at me. After putting up with this behaviour for a few months, I quit with no job to go to. I took some time to make sure I fully recovered and held down a number of temp jobs at the same time to pay the mortgage. Once I was better I got myself another full time job with a much better ultimate boss.
    The second instance was a few years ago - I returned to uni and retrained. I had worked at a company for 6 years and my line manager changed - she criticised me, undermined me, wouldn't listen to my ideas, everything I wrote she rewrote because it wasn't her style. I gave up trying to challenge her, which she also didn't like. I would go home every night and cry. I called my profession's support line and said that I wanted to change roles but I was scared that I wouldn't be good enough to go anywhere else. They gave me enough of a confidence boost to start looking for a new role and when I found that I wasn't the problem.
  • Wes A
    Wes A
    Sat, 1 Jun 2019 10:34am BST
    I have twice experienced abusive HR Managers in my career in Australia and in both cases they were my direct managers. In the first case: I went to my manager and very enthusiastically told her that I have enrolled in studying MBA. Her words:"Why? We don't require the training manager(that is me) to have a MBA. So you are going to leave this company in near future? Then just go now." And I did leave 4 months later.
    The second case: I was working as acting training manager at a government dept and with a restructuring action, The HR Manager became my direct manager. During a meeting the HR Manager was visibly enjoying it when another snr manager was calling one of his fellow managers "Mr Potato-Head". This was in the absence of this fellow manager. The HR Manager almost flipped her chair with enjoyment. After the meeting I raised my concern on the incident with the HR Manager and she said: "It is the best description for this manager... she laughed again". I responded disgusted: "what name then describes me best?. She just looked at me and walked away. The outcome of this conversation was the HR Manager directly isolated me from most meetings. Even so much so when other managers would call a meeting and request my presence, she would e-mail me and said I don't need to attend and because she is my manager, she represent me. This made my work difficult and effected my performance very negative. Shortly after I was offered another job at another company and I resigned. Never looked back. Who do you talk to when the HR Manager is your direct manager and the CEO, GM, etc trust and endorse every word the HR Manager say?
  • Morag
    Sat, 1 Jun 2019 8:06am BST
    Looking forward to the interesting articles
  • Torchbee
    Fri, 31 May 2019 12:07pm BST
    "ME" - get out! I stayed because I had not been in HR for very long and I needed to get some credibility on my CV (and as this was my first HR job, to some degree, I just assumed it was how it was!)... If you are not in the position I was, I would say, get out, get out, get out! These toxic environments are exceptionally damaging to your health (whether HR or any other department)... you lose sight of who you are and start to believe that you are as useless as the bully is making you feel - total gaslighting! If you can't get out then it's a case of strong documentary evidence of the mistreatment so that when they finally dispense with your services (and they will) you are able to consider the possibility of an ET - that said, most ET's will ask why you didn't raise a grievance and our response is always "who to? - this was the person who was supposed to "protect" me". ME, get out and find an employer that values your input - AND know your self-worth!!
  • ME
    Thu, 30 May 2019 4:13pm BST
    Hi, thank you for sharing. Do you have any advice for someone in a very similar situation?