ASK HR: My boss is an abusive bully and I cannot take it anymore
- In some cases, pressure to perform might lead to unwarranted behaviour like the one you’re seeing in your boss.
- When an organisation is meeting its financial targets, the work environment is relaxed, however, during tough financial times, there is tension and some people become short-fused.
Q My boss is a bully, and though I like my job, the environment at work has become toxic.
She cannot correct someone without calling them names like silly, idiot or stupid. When she is not abusing you, she is yelling at you. I am a professional, a Master’s holder, and more important, an adult, so I deserve respect. What would you do in such a case?
All employees, irrespective of their position, are expected to behave professionally while interacting with their colleagues.
In some cases, pressure to perform might lead to unwarranted behaviour like the one you’re seeing in your boss.
When an organisation is meeting its financial targets, the work environment is relaxed, however, during tough financial times, there is tension and some people become short-fused.
That said, employees spend most of their time at work, and with a toxic environment, it is not possible to be productive.
In fact, most employees use company resources to scout for other employment opportunities.
They are in the organisation not for the passion of working there, but for lack of a better option.
There is no loyalty or connection with the organisation, the pay check is the only motivation for the staff.
Maybe it is the culture of the organisation you work for, for bosses to shout at their juniors, and if it is, such behaviour should not be tolerated, whether or not your boss is under pressure from her bosses to perform.
I suggest that the next time she hurls abuses at you, rather than respond or act then, find some time when she is alone and in a good mood and inform her that you are not happy with how she is treating you.
You could also consider leaving the organisation, but the truth is that you might encounter a worse boss, so first explore all the options you have of resolving the matter.
You might be surprised to learn that she finds it normal to shout at those that report to her, and giving her this feedback might change her approach in future.
If this does not bear fruit, escalate the matter to the HR department, your boss might be going through tough personal issues, and HR might recommend counselling if this is the case.
This out of the way, have you considered that your boss might be genuinely frustrated by you and your colleagues’ output?
Do you understand how she prefers her work to be done? Embracing her work standards and expectations might just erase this conflict altogether.