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Video: Office Wars: Staying Alive - Image
"A close-knit and friendly team" - this factor, according to the results of numerous studies, invariably ranks among the three most significant work motives. The better the relationship in the team, the higher the level of happiness of each employee. It's great when they say about someone: “This person is my teacher! He gave me a start in life! " It is even better when a colleague becomes a close friend.
Unfortunately, not everyone succeeds in finding their own “dream team”. Life is full of negative examples. A large company with a large sales department. They actively advertise the vacancies of sellers: "We need young, active and sociable people!" They promise a friendly team and financial success for everyone. But what is really going on? The new employee is greeted very warmly. He is treated to a cup of coffee by the head of the department himself. Then there is an adaptation training, where everyone hugs, sings a corporate anthem, shares inspiring "victory stories". Then a mentor is assigned to the beginner, who teaches him all the subtleties for a month. It would seem that everything is fine … But the "honeymoon" flies by quickly and the harsh working days begin.
And then it turns out that there is fierce competition in the department: those who sell a lot get good bonuses; and those who do not fulfill the plan are fined. And here the "old men" and the new ones find themselves in unequal conditions. Experienced employees get promising and high-value customers, and newbies get small customers, the most diligent work with whom is unlikely to help fulfill the sales plan. The most "cunning cog" in this mechanism is the very hospitable head of the department. It is he who makes decisions about assigning clients to specific managers. The chef is friends with the "oldies" and gives them the best customers. As a result, the salaries of interns and veterans differ four to five times!
How much do you think this difference motivates newcomers? And how much does it improve team relationships? There is one more circumstance … There is a rule in the department according to which managers can exchange clients among themselves. And the "oldies" sometimes use this rule. But how do they do it! There is an unspoken trading system: "old people" seem to "sell" their clients to newcomers in exchange for all sorts of small services.
At first glance, nothing criminal, if these services were not humiliating. For "oldies" this is a kind of entertainment: if a beginner agrees to exchange, he becomes a "slave" who is obliged to fulfill ten desires of his "master". The "slave owners" arrange a competition to find out who will come up with a more stupid task for the "slave". What is most offensive, the coveted exchange in the end may not take place - if suddenly the "old people" decide that the "slave" does not do the job well.
In general, the situation is very similar to the army hazing. Plus a demonstrative ignorance of the problem by the leader: "Not small, let them figure it out." As a result, the sales department faces a predictable problem: the “recruits” survive in this “friendly team” for six months or a year, after which they run away. “Grandfathers” have been sitting in their places for years, but their work cannot be called effective. They make good money at the expense of regular customers, but they do not want to spend energy on development. Both the customer base and sales are growing much more slowly than management would like.
From a psychological point of view, ordinary mobbing (from the English mob - "crowd") takes place in the company. This term, which appeared at the end of the twentieth century, denotes a form of psychological violence in the form of persecution of an employee by the collective. The reasons can be very different - for example, envy of a more educated and successful colleague, the desire to assert himself, splash out negative emotions, and more.
What is mobbing
Mobbing can take many forms. Sometimes it is gossip and rumors that spread behind the victim's back. In some cases, this is isolation, unwillingness to communicate with an outcast. The victim's belongings suddenly start to disappear; and it's good if important documents do not suddenly start to get lost behind personal belongings. In the most severe cases, mobbing manifests itself in harm to health, in “frames” (when the victim is made guilty of serious violations that she did not commit), which can lead to legal prosecution.
- horizontal is pressure from colleagues;
- vertical - from the side of bosses or subordinates;
- sandwich mobbing - bullying from all sides.
Some types of mobbing seem to be quite harmless. For example, one of the tasks that "gentlemen" gave to their "servants" was this: every morning for a week to meet with a cup of freshly brewed coffee. Seemingly easy "job"! But it's not about the complexity of the assignment!
Mobbing is primarily emotional abuse: if instead of the joy of communicating with colleagues, a person feels humiliated, depressed, demotivated and helpless. Bullying leads to chronic stress; and accumulated stress is already a serious trauma that can have many negative consequences for mental and physical health.
Bullying is any action that restricts a person's personal freedom, forcing him to perform those actions that he should not (due to official duties) and does not want to perform
Fight or run?
What if you are mobbed? The most sensible answer (saving your strength, health and time) is dismissal of your own free will. If the instigators are known, then you can try to start negotiations with them. On very rare occasions, if a personal dislike for you is at the heart of mobbing, it can be overcome. But if the bullying is based on the unwritten rules of organizational culture, it is almost impossible to change the situation. In any case, without management intervention and without a serious transformation of the organization as a whole.
Photo: Lori Photo Bank / Image author