Bullying is a big topic in a lot of companies. What is little known, however, is that superiors can also be the victim of bullying attacks by their employees. One term for this special form of bullying is Staffing. At first glance, you would think that the superior would have the upper hand. However, staffing can have unpleasant consequences for both the person affected and the company.
What is staffing?
Staffing is a special form of bullying in which a manager is the victim. Staffing usually affects young and inexperienced managers who actually depend on the help and support of their staff. Staffing finds its expression in the form of ostracism of the superior, like when all conversation stops as soon as he enters the room, or information is kept from him to cast the superior in the wrong light and to hurt his standing. The person affected is to be ousted systematically.
Why does staffing occur?
Oftentimes, managers are not sufficiently or not at all prepared for their leadership activities or perhaps were forced into a leadership role against their will. The manager often exudes insecurity and has low confidence. The person affected then often makes the wrong decisions, gives ambiguous instructions and occasionally appears hotheaded. Insecurities escalate both on the side of the manager and of the team, and the staffing begins. Other reasons for staffing can be individual episodes like fear of change among the staff when leadership changes. Or someone is angry about the leadership style, a lack of recognition or simply about the boss’s boastful appearance. Oftentimes, prejudices about the boss’s age, sex or origin also play a role in staffing.
What can you do about staffing?
The right way to approach it is not so simple because many managers don’t really notice staffing. Some also have difficulty admitting to it because that would mean having to admit to their superiors that they can’t lead their team. It is important, however, to seek talks and make it clear to the team that staffing has consequences. A clear and consistent manner here boosts the necessary authority. If this is not successful, the staffing victim should inform his direct superior about it in a confidential conversation. To prevent it, it’s advisable to prepare yourself for the role of a leader with seminars and leadership coaching.
The consequences of staffing
Staffing has consequences for both the people affected and the company. Victims of staffing can suffer from psychological damage, depression or anxiety. That lowers the quality of your work, and absenteeism due to illness can be a result. That hurts the working atmosphere and can also lead to the company losing its image through word of mouth.
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