How Corporations Cash In on Abuse in the Workplace

Employers are getting rich off the exploitation of workers. Abuse is not only accepted, but rewarded.

Let’s stop turning a blind eye to destructive leadership stemming from substance abuse, mental illness, and violent tendencies under the guise of a “management style” which has gone awry.

The New York Times published the corporate apologetic propaganda, “When the Bully is the Boss”, describing abusive leaders as “demanding excellence.” It seems that performance is judged in a vacuum and unethical means of achievement can still have results deemed to be not only desirable, but of the highest level possible.

The Times article points out:

But the vast majority of findings point to the same conclusion: Bullying bosses tend to undermine their own teams. Morale and company loyalty plunge, tardiness increases, and sick days are more frequent.

Read that again.

The problem is not framed by the suffering of the recipient, but that abuse undermines the goals of the organization. It’s not the issue of it making people physically ill and negatively impacting them emotionally, it is that it increases sick days which in turn leads to a loss of productivity.

In other words, if the boss’s attack results in an employee developing a medical disorder due to stress, the real problem is the loss of profit dollars generated by the worker — not the worker’s compromised health, loss of wages or threat to their continued employment.

The article concludes that “…even mini-tantrums and put-downs can be counterproductive, undermining the efforts of a normally civil person and an otherwise effective boss.” Because, clearly, the occasional tantrums and put-downs we later minimize are totally normal in an “civil person” who is otherwise effective, you know.

We have a problem of abuse in the workplace which is encouraged, condoned and exploited by management and ownership.

At a business function, attendees would be quick to report a lowly staff member who was inebriated and suspected of driving drunk. Few executives would address or condemn this same behavior in a peer. An employee screaming at a coworker would be grounds for immediate dismissal. In a manager, it will not only be ignored, but rated positively.

We have a bigger problem that we normalize aberrant behavior when it benefits the bottom line.

92% of workplace bullying is at the hands of bosses.

Perhaps this is merely a symptom of corporate controlled media as demonstrated so aptly by The Times article. In business culture, we excuse management abuse even when it is widely known to be the result of alcoholism, drug addiction or mental illness — as long as it results in performance.

Every work day, millions of Americans are forced to endure deviant behavior at the hands of their bosses.

More than 70% of workers are dissatisfied with their career choice or outright hate their jobs.

According to Pew Research, 30% of Americans have “just a job to get them by”. Workers do not have a career or a position they view as a stepping stone to something greater.

The research is available if we choose to acknowledge the dynamic. Psychopaths are on the corporate fast track to management and they are creating a nightmare for workers.

More frightening are the findings on narcissistic behavior. Despite teams’ negative view of abusive leaders, upper management positively rated their performance. One could argue that abuse is not only fostered in our organizations, but institutionalized.

Although it is prevalent in corporate America, we don’t have to promote this unhealthy culture.

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