In the workplace, we believe that promotions, compensation, benefits, and rewards are given to those who earn and deserve them.  However, in an environment where persistent workplace aggression is happening, this does not always hold to be true.  In fact, many times it appears that the aggressor(s) in the workplace are the ones receiving the most benefits.  Why does this happen?

Workplace aggressors are highly skilled at what they do.  They are extremely manipulative people and are “smooth operators.”  They have an almost innate ability to lie and to spin any situation in their favor.  Workplace aggressors are experienced and proficient in making their own work and behaviors look good.  They seem to always have the organization’s best interest at heart when in fact; they are the ones wreaking havoc and costing the organization.

Another skill that a workplace aggressor has is that of creating fear.  A culture of fear benefits the aggressor because almost everyone in the organization, including the supervisor, does not want to be victimized and therefore, the workplace caters to the aggressor.  If the aggressor is happy, that should in fact make everyone happy.   As such, aggressors are often given promotions and rewards in an effort to keep their aggression under control.

A colleague and I recently had a discussion about this very topic.  My colleague asserts that supervisors and bosses frequently accommodate the aggressor because the acknowledgment that persistent workplace aggression is happening under their watch may equate their own failings as a leader.  So for the supervisor, it is easier to promote and reward the aggressor than it is to admit that they have allowed, supported, and even promoted persistent workplace aggression.

No matter what the reason, it is never in an organization’s best interest to reward aggression.  Organizations who want to end persistent workplace aggression must start by admitting that their workplace culture is distressed.

For more information, please contact me at jankircher@jankircher.com

 


Comments

05/23/2017 10:10pm

Even if bullies really do make a great asset for a company, they shouldn't get so much appreciation for being like that. Just like what you said, They are extremely manipulative people that hurt and damage the feelings of anyone. They may be a good employee for a company, but they should also learn how to understand the unity in the workplace. They need to stop controlling people by their hands. I completely agree with you that it is never a good idea in an organization’s to reward such kind of aggression. This is a very worth reading article. I hope this could raise an awareness to everyone and thanks for speaking out your own thoughts.

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08/27/2017 10:12am

I really can’t accept the fact that the bullies are the ones who are rewarded not only in the workplace but also in a school setting. It’s so disturbing that we have to really act on it when we see people who are being bullied. Many studies were conducted and showed that even in the early childhood of the kids, there are already signs of bullying. This must be stopped. Parents should be aware of their children’s actions not only inside their home but also when their kids are outside mingling with other people.

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06/29/2017 3:17am

Great insights on the workplace culture! I have come across someone who is like this on my part time job. In my case this aggressor is the one who just bosses people around while making little effort on his actual tasks. The aggressors that I have encountered have blackmailed his co-employees and sucks up to our supervisor. We already reported our workplace aggressor several times, but our supervisor just turned a blind eye on our reports. This frustrated me so much that I just had to quit that job.

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11/02/2017 7:15am

I do think that it is not right to give rewards to the bullies. They are the reasons why there is a lot of people who lost their self confidence and cry a lot a day. I am one of those people who got bullied. It really affects me so much to the point that I don't want to leave in our house. Everyone should be aware of their actions because we don't know that maybe we can hurt someone's feelings. Anyway, I know you have your own reasons and I respect it. Thank you for sharing this with us.

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