Wednesday, December 1

The big cancellation: Australian bad bosses are about to be exposed


In Australia’s workplaces, a new trend is brewing and experts predict that countless terrible bosses will eventually be held accountable.

Sophie Brown * felt incredibly uncomfortable about her boss making comments that left her feeling “stunned” and “confused”.

For many months he told her that he wanted to “hug her”, that he “cared about her” and “liked her”, encouraging her to share very personal stories that blurred the professional relationship.

“It is very charming. There was a lot of eye contact, using a particular tone of voice, be it a soft and gentle tone of voice or a silly tone of voice of ‘we are friends’, ”he told news.com.au.

“If we were sitting together in person, he would be looking at you and looking for reactions, he would lean towards you and show a lot of interest.”

But there also seemed to be a campaign to isolate her. As new to a team working in community services, you would be told to set up Zoom meetings with colleagues who would never show up.

A traumatic experience with a client who threatened to kill Ms. Brown, seriously affecting her mental health, was met with her manager’s response that he could not “make her happy” and she alone was responsible for that.

The Melbourne woman thought it was all her “fault” and then met another woman at the workplace who later quit but had experienced the exact same behavior from the manager.

It was then that he began to realize that he was experiencing sexual harassment in the workplace, as well as intimidation.

“When we completed a survey on sexual harassment, I did not think that any of his behavior violated that survey, yet the behavior made me feel dazed, confused, had suicidal thoughts and negative self-talk,” she admitted.

“He thought it was not traditional sexual harassment behavior. I don’t think I have checked any of the boxes. “

Mrs. Brown is not alone. Surprisingly, one in three Australians, two in five women and just over one in four men, have experienced sexual harassment in the workplace in the past five years, according to the Australian Human Rights Commission report.

But behavioral scientist Aaron McEwan of global research and advisory firm Gartner believes that the MeToo movement, where women came out publicly on social media to talk about the sexual abuse or harassment they experienced, will also lead to big changes on this issue in work place. .

However, for Ms. Brown, it forced her to leave the workplace, and the woman in her 30s resigned in less than 18 months from the new position.

“I spoke to a human resources person outside the organization who said something to him and that person described it as preparation,” he said. “He used the same lines with both of them and broke professional and personal lines for several months.”

But one unlikely source could bring the biggest change to this terrible workplace problem.

McEwan believes The Great Cancellation is imminent, a trend that will see Millennials report bad bosses on social media.

“Some millennials are going to post a TikTok claiming that their boss is an idiot,” he told news.com.au.

“So right now everyone is being very polite and sharing stories on social media without naming their employer and in large part because Baby Boomers and Gen X are uncomfortable with the cancellation culture. They don’t have their heads around.

But the next phase is The Great Cancellation, where individual bosses are embarrassed on LinkedIn and TikTok. I think it’s coming and I imagine how quickly the world of work would change if you really thought you could end up being embarrassed on LinkedIn.

“It could be the biggest positive change in the workplace we’ve ever seen.”

But McEwan not only believes this will be related to sexual harassment in the workplace, he also predicts that people will criticize employees for even unnecessarily denying their leave request.

He said it will only take one person to do it and then he thinks there will be a snowball effect of people going out and doing the same.

“Imagine the damage control involved, there is no PR machine that can handle it,” he said.

Then there will be the influence of technology in a workplace, which will allow “the rejection of organizations that make us sick,” he added.

“Apple is betting its future on health applications and that says a lot to me. Basically, what we are going to do is, if you own a smartwatch, you can measure the impact of work on your health. At the moment you will be able to measure when your blood sugar spikes or your anxiety hormones spike, ”he explained.

He believes that the future of work will be linked to the smartwatch.

“You will choose a job by going to a website and there will be a list of companies with the lowest resting heart rate or the happiest and healthiest employees and you will also be able to take into account the carbon footprint of a company,” he said.

“But in the middle is this rejection of organizations that make us sick and try to turn us into not very nice people. I suspect we will start seeing people when we get to that point, they will openly share data in the same way that cyclists share their personal best moments, which is a measure of how their workplace made them sick. “

McEwan has already warned Australian companies that there is another “massive scare” looming when The Great Resignation, a phenomenon unfolding in the US with millions of people quitting their jobs, begins to hit in March.

* Name has been changed


www.news.com.au

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