Is Your Boss Trying to Sabotage You?
Intentionally or Accidental?
Employee sabotage is not always intentionally done with malice. While this may not make the situation any better, the employee may wish to handle it differently.
Cases of accidental sabotage are often the result of poor communication, or desperate situations – as when an employer puts an employee in a position the employee is not properly trained for (perhaps due to staffing shortages). This does also occur as a result of intentional sabotage, which might be more apparent when the employees failures are repeatedly pointed out.
Are you Being Sabotaged?
Some examples of sabotage are under-staffing certain departments, making people work harder to reach impossible quotas. Assigning a task without giving proper instructions, is also a form of sabotage.
More malicious sabotage occurs when employees are scheduled to work days, or times, that the employer knows is inconvenient, or impossible for them.
Why Employers Sabotage Employees?
Some forms of employee sabotage hurt the business, under staffing being a perfect example of this. Typically this is not intentional sabotage, but more often than not, an attempt by the employer to save money. The problem is the employee also suffers – not just the business. They become stressed and if belittled for not being able to keep up, the employee becomes quite disappointed in the company (seldom trying harder to keep up as they know this is a situation created by the employer – not due to employee incompetence).
Sometimes sabotage occurs because the employer is looking for a scapegoat, somebody to blame. This might not even be a conscious thing. It should not be assumed that all employers are mental competent – good moral business people, some employers struggle with mental issues and enjoy having somebody to blame, or pick on.
Finally an employer might sabotage an employee in an effort to get rid of them. This is often pretty apparent and would be the case when the employee is scheduled to work at inappropriate times.
What Should an Employee Do?
The employee should document every attempt of sabotage by their employer. They may want to make note if other employees have been treated in similar ways in the past.
The employee might want to talk to their employer to see if they can resolve the problem, this is best done when the sabotage is not malicious in nature. The employee needs to make it clear that if they are put in a situation where failure is possible, they do not want to be told repeatedly that they failed. If an employee feels like they are being sabotaged, they probably are, however the boss may not really realize the extent of the problems.
If there is a superior to the boss (for example if the one doing the sabotage is only a department manager, and has a superior) that person should be contacted and presented with a list of incidences, especially if the sabotage is malicious and intentional.
If there is a union, the union representative may be contacted.
Quitting is always an option, in this case it is imperative that the employee have evidence of malicious sabotage forcing them to quit and should take that to the local labor relations board. They may want to call the labor relations board, or labor standards, prior to quitting. They must indicate in writing to their employer why they are quitting, and in this case should always note they felt they were being sabotaged. If everything is properly documented and labor standards gets involved the employee may be entitled to employment insurance, which normally they would not get for quitting a job.
Ultimately once an employee realizes that he, or she, is being intentionally sabotaged they need to realize this will probably not stop until either they leave, or their boss leaves.