Dinesh Divekar
Business Mentor, Consultant And Trainer
Deputy Commissioner Of Labour..a.p.

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I have heard a lot of questions coming from different sources, mostly friends about harrassment policies being gender biased.
I have a friend who is being chased and bullied by his previous superior (not boss) who is two positions up now in the same organization. My friend was rehired (after 3 years) in his previous company. This co-worker has been spreading lies about him being an underperformer, with inadequate skills to be taken up for this project, he has been signed up for. He has been ignoring everything as those weren't coming directly from her to him, but recently she directly started asking him why he is trying to hide from her, and that she heard he is looking for a change, that too infront of four people working within my friend's team. He has very recently joined this organization and is trying to settle things, and is immensely upsetting of someone saying all negative things about him here and there. He doesn't want to confront her directly because of these policies. There are people already aware of what she is doing. What can we do in this situation??

From India, Mumbai
Dear friend,
What you have told about your friend is unfortunate however, we need little more information. What is the designation of your friend? How many persons report to him? We need this information to know whether your friend can take benefits of the ID Act, 1947.
Since when his senior has been the negative comments? For how many weeks or months this has been going on? What is the nature of the industry in which your friend works in?
Hereafter, tell your friend to record the negative comments on his mobile phone. However, he should do this surreptitiously. When he succeeds in doing this, tell him to take back up of the audio file.
Every time it may not be possible to do the audio recording. Therefore, tell him to maintain records of his interaction with the senior. Tell him to write down when the negative comments were given (date and time), where these were given, in front of whom the negative comments were given etc.
One of the solutions for your friend is to ask for the personal meeting with the senior. Let him clear the air. Give her chance to vent her anger. Possibly she may mellow down thereafter.
Second solution is to do introspection. Let him maintain the records of the past instances of the negative comments and find out whether any pattern emerges. If there are flaws or errors in his work then he is ought to eradicate them.
Third solution is to contact immediate superior and ask his/her help. By now possibly your friend might have done this too. This meeting is important to understand which side he/she is tilting. Is it on your side or other side.
Last solution is to approach HR and explain how demotivating it is when a senior passes negative comments in the public. Again it depends how far the HR is ready to intervene. HRs may intervene, others may take it nonchalantly.
Advice to your friend: - While swallowing insults is not easy, still tell your friend to take these in his/her stride and move on. There are various types of harassment and one amongst them is this. There are cases of discrimination arising out of caste, creed, religion, ethnicity, language etc.
General comments: - Problems of this kind show poor interpersonal environment in the company. The senior who passes negative comments has not mastered interpersonal skills or feedback-giving skills. The senior does not understand the importance of motivation also. Junior might commit errors but even then also while giving feedback, it is the duty of seniors to ensure that juniors' motivation level does not go down. Emotional outburst, put-downs have no place in the modern workplace.
The instance highlights message to HR also. We do not know whether employee engagement activities of any kind are conducted in the company. However, if the interpersonal environment is poor, then what is the use of conducting workplace games?
We do not know whether the alleged victim had approached HR. If this person did not approach HR then it goes on to show the mental distance between common employee and HR. The victim of the alleged harassment, tells his/her friend about the harassment and that friend comes to the public forum to ask a solution speaks volumes.
Suppose if the victim of the alleged harassment had approached HR but HR did not step in then it goes on to show the ineffectiveness of HR. On the one side HR aspires to be a business partner but does not step in to solve the workplace fracas. What is the use of such HR?
Dinesh Divekar

From India, Bangalore
Serious negative comments on an employee by colleagues and superior.
Let us know does she related for deciding performance parameter .
Unless put a written complaint to huigher m.d.ranks for removal of
unbearable harassment non related persons.See the result...pls

From India, Nellore
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