Last week, I was approached by someone who works for the NHS, who has on three occasions been accused of workplace bullying by members of her staff team. She had read my comments from “When is a Bully not a Bully?” and asked me for support.
Working in health care settings in the UK is without doubt a high pressure environment to be in, day in – day out. This woman is consistently being told to achieve more and now is being told to do it for less. “I need every member of my staff team to work flat out, all day to achieve the targets other people set for me” she said. That means “no slacking!”
To achieve her objectives she recognises the abrasive, or perhaps over-aggressive manager, in herself – but it’s not bullying she insists.
Surely in this time of ever demanding targets, set by officials on high, managers in organisations like the NHS are being set up to become ‘bullies’ and everyone is increasingly a potential ‘victim’. No wonder the NHS is notorious for bullying accusations.
Is it not time to find a better way to achieve maximum output from staff without the need for over-enthusiastic management. Until this happens the culture of bullying will remain, not just in the NHS but in all organisations which are target driven in times of reducing budgets. The police and local authorities, as well as other statutory bodies, are also vulnerable.
So those of you who are responsible for the delivery of targets – FIND A BETTER WAY TO MEET THEM. Don’t lay your managers on the line for increasing accusations of bullying and harassment.