If you’re facing abuse of power in the workplace, you may feel helpless and like you don’t know where to turn. Unfortunately, abuse of power in the workplace is more common than you may think. Because of this, it’s important that you take steps to notice the signs and deal with abuse of power if you see it.
Fortunately, we’re here to help. Below we’ll tell you how to identify and deal with abuse of power in the workplace.
Determine Whether There Has Been an Abuse of Power
It’s important to stay aware and look for signs of abuse and inappropriate behavior in the workplace. Unfortunately, the inherent power dynamic can make it difficult to understand if someone is being unnecessarily demanding and bullying you or other workers in some way.
Some examples of inappropriate behavior you should definitely take notice of include the following:
- They want you to do their work for them or clean up their messes
- They request that you keep a secret about something illegal
- They make inappropriate physical contact
- They use inappropriate language
- They bully you or blackmail you
There are many other types of inappropriate that you should look out for in the workplace, so you’ll want to keep your eyes open. Be sure that you don’t ignore issues and that you take the proper steps after noticing bad behavior.
Take Steps to Deal With Misconduct
Every company will have different standards when it comes to dealing with misconduct. However, here are a few steps you’ll want to follow.
1. Remain Calm
If you have experienced inappropriate behavior in your workplace, stay calm. Avoid overreacting and evaluate the behavior rationally.
Your boss may sometimes act poorly or be in a bad mood. If it’s a one-time thing or if it is only a small offense, there may be little you can do to proceed. However, if they act poorly on a consistent basis or act extremely abusive, you’ll want to take action.
2. Be Direct
While you may want to remain calm at first, it’s important that you also draw the line. If you determine that they are abusing their power, the first step may be to speak to them directly. If they brush off the complaint or if you feel uncomfortable mentioning it directly, you may want to look for other options.
You’ll also want to know how to handle the issue if you feel like you have been wrongfully terminated. You should learn about what does wrongful termination mean? and know what to do if you are fired when you shouldn’t have been.
3. Document the Issue
If you have noticed abuse of power in the workplace, you may need to take the issue to a higher authority. However, first, you’ll want to document everything.
Write down the event, the time it took place, and information about who else was present. This documentation can help when it comes time to report the issue.
4. Speak to a Higher Authority
Once you decide to speak with HR or with a higher authority, it will help to show them your documentation and evidence.
Most companies will have protocols to file complaints and report misconduct, so you may want to look at a company code to find out how best to proceed. By reporting the situation appropriately, HR should then take action to resolve the problem.
Using These Tips to Handle an Abuse of Power in the Workplace
If you’ve noticed abuse of power in the workplace, you may be afraid to come forward. However, by taking the right steps and remaining calm, you’ll be able to deal with abuse in the most tactful and effective way.
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