Why going to HR generally doesn’t help a workplace bullying target

mobbing in the workplace

Advocates have told us that when they reported their workplace bullying experiences to Human Resources, the workplace bullying generally got worse. Advocates said:

It’s worse after you go to HR because HR is there to protect a company’s legal interests, not the worker. As soon as a you go to HR [about workplace bullying], you can expect things to get worse because you have just given them notice they need to get their ducks in a row and get rid of you so you can’t document anymore. It’s better to quietly go to an employment lawyer who will tell you if you have a case, tell you how to document, and act as your advocate when you have a viable case.

HR gets their pay check from the company. They are not your advocate.

Sometimes it’s HR doing the bullying as well.

Confronting the perpetrator, the perpetrator’s boss, senior management, and Human Resources were most often just as effective as doing nothing, reports the Workplace Bullying Institute in a 2011 survey.

It is important to note that many HR professionals are workplace bullying targets themselves.

What do you do instead? Advocates most commonly reported that leaving the organization was the most effective (and often the only effective) means of stopping the bullying.

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4 comments

  1. NOPGS (@boycottpgs)

    HR DOES NOT support the company’s interests. HR supports the hierarchy’s interests whether they are right or wrong. In other words, HR supports the corrupt abuse of position and this is why HR is useless for employee disputes. Employee agents should be on the same playing field and decisions made based on policy and procedure and not position. The hierarchy gets the money and the lawyers paid for and the target is alone.

  2. Bully 101 at Work (@bully101atwork)

    HR always supports the companies and the managers, not once during my bullying experience did they show any concern for my health or wellbeing. They actually did the exact opposite and had other team members spy on me, dob in for everything and I was given over six formal warnings for things other team members were doing on a daily basis and they were given no reprimands, most of the things I was formally reprimanded on were events that were twisted around to suit the manager needs (who was the bully). I had never previously received any formal warnings prior to this. I was even given reprimands for conversations I had with other team mates for things they said in a conversation.
    I was loaded up with work, I was forced to take more calls than other team members, I was constantly asked if I wanted to be there. My manager personally sent me new jobs within the company that I was not qualified for asking me that I should think of moving to another are of the business. When there was a role I was qualified for and I applied fr the role HR got back to me with unfortunately you have not been successful in obtaining an interview at this time we suggest you discuss with you manager what you would like to put in you development plan for future development.
    I was yelled at in front of other workers including during break times in the break room.
    I was told I am horrible at my job.
    I was told my customer service skills were not of a standard that is suitable for the job I was doing yet I was the 1st team member to receive a 100% customer satisfaction rating for our customer surveys. over the next three months I received over twenty 100% ratings on customer surveys and I was told it was because other people did my work for me, I checked, it was all my work.
    When I had coaching sessions I left in tears every-time.
    Being bullied is a very lonely journey and the scars and loss of trust is deep.
    I have not been able to work since, I have flash backs and am afraid of being in the same position again, I am afraid of authority and I am afraid of managers.

    I had to leave when I started getting to ill and I have recently been diagnosed with PTSD.
    My experience with bullying has broken my spirit, I have no longer any forward momentum, I am unable to focus or even think properly.

    To anyone else that was bullied, you are not alone there are a lot of us around the world
    There needs to be laws to protect us from the psychological damage we have suffered.

    Thanks for listening.

    • lifeoftheworldtocome

      The PTSD is real. Only when I adopted the “what’s in it for me” attitude toward work did it help me and that was difficult because it runs counter to everything I believe about what one’s attitude in life should be. Flipping the tables and deciding that you are ‘using’ the job for whatever it does to support your goals in life (even if only for the paycheck) is somewhat empowering. Running one’s life and home are every bit a ‘business’ as the company you work for. I do still tend to be hyper-alert to any vibes picked up at work. I just don’t share them or act on the basis of them. I can say for myself it can get better. I work for a great company now and the fruits of that spread just was well across my life as the negative did. Best wishes as you work to rebuild your confidence and life.

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