Considering that some of the allegations are now around the bullying of another young person, there could have been prior red flags – how did this presenter treat BBC colleagues? It will eventually be the case that no company can afford to employ bullies when they fully understand the actual costs.
Bullying costs the UK economy over £18 billion per year, but what does that look like for an individual organisation or even on a departmental level? If you look at the people being bullied first, you will find they cannot produce their best work. For the vast majority of people I talk to who are being bullied at work, concentration is the first casualty, which in some professions is dangerous. If you look at the colleagues of those being bullied, you will find most fear being the next target; there will be those who blame the target for causing the bullying (victim blaming). You will even find those who want to emulate the bully. If you recruit a manager who bullies, they, in turn, will recruit managers who bully: like recruiting like. If the organisation doesn’t take effective action, it will be assumed to condone the abusive behaviours, so normalising them; this is how toxic behaviour spreads.
In an affected department, sick leave will go up, legal costs will go up as those who can evidence the behaviours have to be paid off – often to protect the organisation’s reputation, morale will go down, productivity will go down, and your best talent will be amongst the first to leave as very few people enjoy working in a toxic environment. Recruitment costs and training costs will go up as replacement talent needs training.
We haven’t even considered the things that bullying is used to conceal. So, for example, bullying can be used to conceal practice that is lazy, incompetent, negligent, breaches regulations, or even the law. So, for example, if you wanted to embezzle your employer, you’d intimidate your reports so they won’t challenge you or report anything, and you would terrorize the finance department or take it over. So, all in all, it’s fair to say that bullying is bad for business.
While what I teach is not a BBC bashing exercise – the BBC does attract bullies. It attracts bullies for the same reasons that the rest of the film, TV, and media industries do, for the same reason that banking, the police force, politics, the charity sector, and faith organisations do. Academia and sports coaching do, and most unfortunately, social services and the NHS do. So why do institutions as disparate as banking and the NHS attract bullies? Because they offer, even my mere contract, the single thing bullies want most: status. The higher the profile of the organisation, the greater the risk.
Abusive personalities choose some of these institutions because they provide cover and access for criminal behaviour. No one wanted to believe that a celebrity, welcomed into the family living room, would abuse children, which is why Jimmy Savile used the BBC and all his charity work to cover the fact that he was abusing children on an industrial scale.
At the heart of most NHS scandals is a culture of fear; clinicians, knowing that something is wrong, that a policy adhered to is costing lives, or that someone’s practice isn’t safe – due to fear, say nothing. More patients die until the problem is too big to conceal. So bullying in the NHS isn’t a side issue – a “Let’s be nice to NHS workers.” Bullying in the NHS costs lives. So workplace bullying is one of the most serious workplace issues. It’s bad for business, costs lives, and risks the reputations of the organisations that employ the perpetrators. Considering the industries and sectors I’ve mentioned, it should not be a surprise that Harvey Weinstein worked in Hollywood, damaged numerous women, and brought down the production company Miramax, that Jimmy Savile worked for the BBC, or that Oxfam workers overseas sexually exploited the vulnerable women that they were supposed to be helping or that Fred (the shred) Goodwin led RSB bank into such a huge hole it had to be bailed out by the UK government to the tune of £20 billion – incidentally, Fred was proud of that nickname!
#bbcpresenter #BBCPresenterScandal #BBCScandal #Bullying #BullyingCostsLives