Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Making a clerk out of a discoverer or corporate bullying!

                                                                - Monique Valcour, Harvard Business Review

We are familiar with school and university bullying. Because the students are a weaker lot and vulnerable, the society takes special care of them. What about people at work? In INDIA, sexual harassment is covered well with The Vishaka Act in INDIA and elsewhere in the world, corporates have zero tolerance to sexual harassment.
Corporate bullying, bigotry and ganging against an employee is a recognized crime by corporate and law. I have worked in world class companies like Gattefosse ACGworldwide and been part of projects with companies like Glatt  and Fette, and Mitsubishi. I have been mentored by the finest men and women in the industry like Nabil Farah, Ajit Singh and Leila Lal. These fine men and women taught me that more than work it is your character as a leader that will stay with you. We may not remember our boss for the EBIDTA he got for us that year but we will remember him for standing up with us, defending and mainly not bullying us.
This argument goes further when we talk of a global team. A global team has workers of different nationalities, religions and political voice.  The Hijab, bindi, fez, turban are who we are! A global team does not become a global team by often repeating that it’s a global team on all forums or by speaking inanely to each other every day.  The team stays glued with competent leadership, mature human understanding and wisdom. It is often presupposed that teams from certain countries can be bullied as the colonial mindset in corporate bypasses all limits of rational thinking.
Some thoughts!
  1. You are a part of the team and have helped build the business. Your sweat and tears are an integral part. Don’t take yourself lightly. YOUR DIGNITY IS PRIME.
  2. Be aware when a narrative is built against you. It could be you do not communicate, or you do not behave like a global team or you sleep or eat at work, or you are not structured. Blow at it like a pack of cards. A narrative is different from a feedback. The strong give feedback while the weak build narratives.
  3. Ensure that due processes are followed where you are concerned. If you follow processes, then the corporate better keep their side of the bargain.
  4. Keep your line manager in the loop, In INDIA his/her testimony holds water.
  5. The HR department is committed to your physical and mental safety and they have to first abide by the constitution of our land and then the code of the company. Make sure the HR knows what is going on with you.
  6. Every company has an integrity line, complaint line, redress line or whatever. Approach it with evidence.
  7. Write letters or emails right up to the top, CEO/ Chairman of the company. Describe what is happening. Like HomiMullah says if you think you do not have the authority to write a letter to the CEO, then you better resign.
  8. Make a support group at work place. And vent out.
  9. Always ask would this have been done to you if you were different skin toned. If your answer is NO, then it’s a color bullying. REPORT IT.
  10. Good industry practices support against all bullying. Your supplier and vendor will stand with you!
  11. Bullies are weaklings often in superior powers of position, insensitive and damaging. Often they have a team of disgruntled workers. Don’t fear to call them out! If they are brought down, then you may actually be doing a favor to the company!!!
And lastly, a corporate is made of people.  Good and Bad. Let’s try to make the good overtake the bad! Only then the bottom line will be healthy!
                                                                                                           -Mini Nair

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