by Sam at Management 3.0
Work can be hard enough and the last thing we need to add to our already stressful lives is an atmosphere of moral harassment.
But before we dive into how to combat this, let’s first define what exactly moral harassment is. According to an article about this topic by Knowledge21, an example could be a remark made by a manager such as:
- “This is so easy, even you can do it!”
- “If you get this wrong, I won’t be able to trust you.”
- “You are nobody here.”
While these comments might sound over the top, they have been heard at work. It’s likely while reading this you remember a time someone said something similar to you or know of a colleague who underwent a type of emotional abuse. Listening to things like this could devastate not only morale, but self-confidence, engagement at work and squash any desire to want to do a good job.
As the Knowledge21 article points out, it’s scary to see what systematically happens in an environment when this occurs. It can make us question our worth, our credibility, our value and our overall identity and purpose.
So what can we do?
Traditionally, when employees experience moral harassment at work they rely on a mix of strategies including but not limited to:
- Documenting the behaviour
- Letting the bully know their actions weren’t right
- Reporting the misconduct
- Referring to company policy guidelines
These tactics are all useful, but don’t always get to the heart of the problem.
This is Where Agility Comes In
According to Knowledge21, when companies adopt an agile mindset, it removes (largely) the possibility for moral harassment. Agility creates a culture of innovation, specifically when adopted by HR because its values and culture are rooted in the Agile Manifesto.
For example, one of the basic concepts in agility is that happiness is of the utmost importance, more so than turning a profit. It’s hard to deliver value if the people on your team aren’t happy, engaged and motivated.
So a company that embodies culture fit and employee morale will do whatever it takes to keep people satisfied at work and usually not tolerate any type of moral decay.
Agility embraces innovation and delivering value and when we take this on board it reduces the possibility of creating negative workspaces.
One of the best ways to learn how to foster an agile environment at work is through tools and practices.
As the Knowledge21 article rightly points out:
Exercises and games such as the Delegation Board, Moving Motivators, Meddlers and other games are great for adopting new ways of working that encourage a positive work culture. These games help foster less of a top down environment, which in turn creates a more fluid, enticing and fun place to work, one that’s less conducive to moral harassment. By adopting the agile culture, particularly within HR, companies are less likely to experience moral decay.
Have you experienced moral harassment in the workplace? tell us about it in the comments section of this blog or by joining our Supporters Program where you can help us redefine leadership together.