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HR manager slow to act against violent worker

by on
in HR Management,Human Resources

Q. Earlier this year, I met with the HR manager about a co-worker who’s been provoking me over a two-year period with shoving matches and other offensive behavior. The HR manager gave me three options: let it go (no way), talk to this person alone (no way—he punches file cabinets in anger), or get witnesses and file a complaint. I chose the third option. The HR manager then promised to talk to the witnesses and get back to me. Four months have passed and nothing’s been done. Please advise.

A.
Did you get the manager to give you a timetable of when you can expect things to unfold? Always get HR reps to commit in writing when they will follow up on a complaint.

One way to do this is to write a memo immediately after you meet with the HR manager that summarizes exactly what commitments she made and when she proposed to complete various steps of the investigation. Leaving a paper trail that you initiate tends to make HR managers (and other executives) more accountable.

And where’s your boss in all this? Try to work with your boss to arrange your work space to avoid the offensive environment you currently face. Perhaps your boss can move the offender to another site or put this person on probation. Above all, don’t let this offender influence your ability to perform your job.

Some HR managers find that employees who are bored or less competent in their jobs tend to find excuses not to work (such as repeatedly lodging complaints against coworkers). While it sounds like you’re confronting a truly threatening situation, you cannot let it distract you.

Remember, if you give a bully evidence that you're backing down or intimidated, you only make the bully act up more.

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