Dear all,
On one of the WA groups of HRs, Administrator of the groups, Mr Rajaram Thorve, has raised the following topic for discussion:
Q.1 Is it true that humiliation by the subordinate is viewed as insubordination whereas humiliation by the boss/superior is tolerated?
Q. 2 How would you deal with the boss/superior if he or she abuses you in cabin or in presence of other employees?
I have given replies to the questions. These are as below:
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Dear Mr Rajaram Thorve,
My replies are as below:
Q.1 Is it true that humiliation by the subordinate is viewed as insubordination whereas humiliation by the boss/superior is tolerated?
Reply: - The quick reply to this question is of course yes. This happens when organisation’s culture is paternalistic or organisations that continue with the legacy of the 20th century administration.
In the erstwhile era, employment opportunities were less. There was total dependence on the “boss”. Therefore, humiliation or comebacks by the boss were common and ignored too. There was total divide between workers and management. Unfortunately, this old style of management continued in many organisations with MNCs being no exception.
However, world has moved in a big way. People expect respect at their workplace. Against this backdrop, few companies have tried fostering healthy interpersonal environment in their company and they have succeeded in doing so. Others, whose leadership is just obsessed with their vision or market growth, give short shrift the culture building activities. Leadership of these companies, does not understand that the humiliations or insults by top boss leave scar on the minds of their juniors. Poor interpersonal environment is one of the reasons why employee attrition is rampant in the companies.
Q. 2 How would you deal with the boss/superior if he or she abuses you in cabin or in presence of other employees?
Reply: - There cannot be specific reply to this question. The reply depends on employee’s need of the employment. Employees that belong to the middle class are burdened with the EMIs for their apartment. They cannot afford to challenge their boss for the roughshod treatment for the risk of termination. Others who are not so needy quietly quit their employment.
Much depends on how much supportive top management is to the HOD who behaves brazenly with his/her subordinates. If the top management is supportive or reliant on this HOD, then it is better if subordinates swallow this bitter experience.

In exceptional bosses are open and take feedback from others. Juniors may give feedback to such boss but in private.
Final comments: - About two years ago, a survey report titled “Disrespect at workplace major cause of stress, says HR study” was published in Business Today. The link of the report is as below:
https://www.businesstoday.in/managem...ry/231351.html
The survey findings give insight to the leadership on importance of creating a culture of respect at the workplace. Undervaluing employees or their belittlement erodes the growth of the organisation, albeit invisibly. Unfortunately, not many leaders understand this.
Thanks,
Dinesh Divekar
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