Dear Seniors, Recently one Director has joined our company who is frequently using unparliamentary language in meetings & in person with staff. Not only that he is blaming others for any failure, threatening them but also not allowing people to present their views, suppressing people to give an independent opinion. He has been sensitized for this matter by our MD but no change is been observed. As he is in an influential position, our MD does not want to take any action against him but he is sensitizing him to refrain from such conduct. As a result of this misconduct we are facing high attrition in the company & it is hampering the discipline of the company.

Highly engaged people are also looking for other job opportunities. This Director does not respect any function nor HOD or Director at a parallel role. He bad mouth about other Directors & dept.heads in front of his team. He only partially listens to the promoters. Since he joined us he has sacked many people on minor performance issues that could have been resolved. His Managers do not maintain any objectivity in the performance feedback & do not give any performance-related data to HR until unless it's about complaining to somebody & preparing a case against them. His targets and commitments is what the company needs at this time & that is the reason why we are tolerant of him. His delivery is highly questionable at this point in time but MD believes he has potential & even if he delivers 50% of his targets his contribution is valuable. That's why MD is backing him up. His conduct is disturbing the team spirit & discipline of the company. Could you suggest what can be done to get through this situation?

From India, Nagpur
Whoever it be and whatever the situation be, using abusive language or unparliamentary words in work place also is highly condemnable. Particularly, when a superior in an organization is habitually addicted to such an awkward practice, the colleagues and subordinates remain mute for some times simply because of that person's positional advantage and influence with the higher echelons of the organization. In the long run, his efficiency would eventually result in his incompetency to lead others. If any individual dares to question openly, certainly he would lose his job or immediately resigns in protest he would be tortured even after his departure. Therefore, the only option before all the employees is a collective reaction.
From India, Salem
Dear Aakansha,

What you have mentioned is horrible. But then everything has been happening with the knowledge of the MD of the company.

MD is supposed to be No 1 stakeholder of the company. If MD does not understand the graveness of the issue then what is the use of serving in this type of company? The Director, cynicism flows in whose veins, before he tampers with your career, it is better to move out.

The Director has not only tampered the career of several employees but he is playing around with the organisation's culture as a whole. Your MD will have to make herculean efforts to restore the badly damaged organisation's culture. By the time your MD realises this, it will be too late. But then at that time, other than regret, he will not have anything to do.

General Comments: - The post also shows what happens when the power gets into the head of the person who occupies a top position. With these kinds of persons getting a Director's position, how India will have world-class companies? Far from competing with countries from Europe or even the US, how will India compete with even neighbouring countries?

Getting intoxicated by power is not just restricted to the Director of a private limited company but very much applicable to those who hold the political position as well.


Dinesh Divekar

From India, Bangalore

The culture because of the 'director' has become toxic in your company. You either make out the details as to how it is hampering the employees performance in general with specific cases of those who had already left due to the other reason. Also inform that it is becoming increasingly difficult to continue to work in this volatile atmosphere and you may have to follow others opting to stay out of this situation by putting your papers unless this trend is arrested immediately.
Check and walk out before it starts playing with your health along with those of others in the company.
Thanks and Regards,

From India, Hyderabad
Thank you Seniors for your clear direction & advice. I cannot leave the organization as this organization has really invested in me & I think its a high time to pay them back & stand firm with employer rather then leaving. Our MD is a visionary leader & we are just going through a tough time but we believe things will certainly change with collective efforts. He is just trying to integrate this new Director with the existing team.Based on your advice I had a call with my MD he assured that we will give this Director a clear message that either he should follow the code of conduct & do not spoil the discipline.He has also given me free hand to deal with him directly & speak whenever he is unreasonable.I hope it help.
From India, Nagpur
Dear Aakansha,

Your post shows that you have bound yourself with the company emotionally. Your allegiance to the company in general and to your MD is good. However, for you, your career also should be important. In the toxic workculture, how you will grow that you would know best.

You say that your company has done investment on you. What kind of investment company did? Secondly, you have also written that your MD is visionary. But then most of the MDs are visionary and that exactly is a problem with them. Many have vision but do not have a sight. They ignore what is clearly visible. This exactly is happening with your MD as well.

Over a period of time, you should not get a sinking feeling that all along you had been barking up a wrong tree! But then for this realisation to come, it will be too late.

Anyway, it is personal call how to deal with the new Director. Therefore, show judiciousness.


Dinesh Divekar

From India, Bangalore
Once we remove business title tag and talk one-to-one from HR point of views, may be we get some more insight what he feels about it.
From India, Mumbai
Dear Mr Rajan Chansikar,
You have suggested removal of business title and then having a one-to-one talk. However, who will remove the business tag of the Director and how to do it? Even if the business tag is removed even then also will Director be ready to talk to the HR who could be much junior to him?
Going further, that irrespective of one's position, one should value human dignity is a teaching that should come from the parents. If there is a flaw in the parenting itself, can HR fix it in their one-to-one talk? The Director lacks listening skills, questioning skills, interpersonal skills etc. To a certain extent, all these skills are taught by the parents. By reading the first post, one can very well make out that the Director is an arrogant person. Is taming the arrogant person and that too holding a senior position, a job of HR?
This matter can be handled only by the MD of the company and no one else. However, the realisation is yet to dawn on him.
Probably the Director has not been given proper induction training on the values of the company and how these are exercised in the day-to-day work. It is imperative on the top management personnel to cherish the values and not destroy them. Any action or decision of a Manager must fall within the purview of the values. Transgression should be nipped in bud. Far from nipping in the bud, the transgression is not being nipped in the flower also!
By the way, while recruiting this Director whether the thought was spared on cultural fitness is not known. The Director is a misfit in a large number of companies.
Anyway, the post is a classic case study of how the top management persons destroy the culture of the company.
Dinesh Divekar

From India, Bangalore
Dear Akansha,
It is seen that you are saddled with complete misfit yet heavyweight Director.
MD believes that the Director may give positive bottomline results and therefore, is putting up with his paranoid behaviour. But if good/key people leave the organization, how this Director will give desired business results is not known.
Good sign is MD is supportive to you and given you free hand. Make good but tactical use of it in curbing his non- sensible acts . Once he knows you can too call the shots with the support of MD, he will either mend his ways or his fat ego will not let him continue.
You display courage and patience, and don't heed to advice of quitting but continue putting up brave fight against intolerable Director till he leaves . Otherwise , the whole reputation of the organization will be at stake.
Vinayak Nagarkar
HR and Employee Relations Consultant

From India, Mumbai
Employers are responsible for providing a secure and appropriate work culture, which incorporates taking lively steps to minimise the risk of offensive language being used inside the place of business.
From India, Pune

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