Abuse of power or power harassment is the misuse of authority to take actions in personal interest that negatively impacts the company and its employees. It’s a relative form of workplace bullying but specifically conducted by a superior. Misuse of authority is common in places with lack of supervision over people in power. The most power harassment prone areas are schools, hospitals, universities and private organizations.
Harmful effects of abuse of power in the workplace:
- Stressed employees.
- Harassment claims.
- High work pressure.
- Lack of manager trust in the organization.
- High employee turnover.
- High workplace absenteeism.
- Low employee productivity.
Abuse of power examples:
- Constantly reminding an employee that they can be fired or replaced.
- Humiliating an employee in front of his colleagues.
- Forcing an employee to work overtime multiple times a week without additional pay.
- Boss mistreating employees when he/she is in a bad mood.
- Condescending reactions to employee questions.
- Constantly shifting blame on employees for their own incompetencies.
- Withholding critical information from an employee that he/she needs to know.
- Putting personal interests before the company.
- Enforcing companies policies and rules on others without following them.
How to stop the abuse of power in the workplace:
- Have a strict policy in place against defaulters who take part in employee abuse.
- Have regular inspections in the working of managers an authority figures in the company.
- Implement Your Safe Hub in your organization for employee grievance management and reporting purposes. It’s a secure and anonymous communication channel that protects your employees with the power of anonymity.