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Advice, pls: DH bullied at work(4 Posts)
DH is extremely stressed due to work - is considering sick leave though I don't think he's ever taken a day sick in his life - and I'm really worried about him. One person in particular seems to want him out, in his view (sounds right), and he's finding it incredibly hard to do his job as they are freezing him out (meetings, conversations). He's abroad again currently and feeling really alone.
He's head of facilities and has looked after a number of sites for many years. Considered by his large team, board etc to be good at his job (well liked by his team, in particular). There are just a few people at his level. Never been the easiest management team - they've all had their quirks - but overall it's a good company with long-serving employees. The long-term MD left and there have been a couple since but they haven't stayed more than a couple of years (seemingly more money and greater opportunities elsewhere). DH has been considered for the role - not that he was overly keen as he loved his current job - but isn't ready (he accepts that and has been offered training but this never quite happens due to changing MDs). Current MD doesn't have much experience in running businesses and is planning to step down into another role eventually (this is widely known).
Main problem is the new head of purchasing. She has come in with what seems to be an agenda - staff have commented to DH and another department head that she's 'out to get him'. His big workload, amount of european travel, etc is well-known and he gets on with the job and doesn't tend to ruffle feathers. For some reason, though, she seems to have a vendetta against him - he thinks that she wants to be MD and needs him out the way (though he doesn't want the role, wouldn't get it currently anyway and just wants training for his long-term prospects).
She regularly contacts his staff directly over things which she's not resposible for e.g. purchases he's agreed with his team within their budgets - there is an obvious overlap with their job but clear lines that they report to him - and is setting up meetings which concern his area but doesn't include him. She is witholding information, it sounds like, talking about changing his team (not her job to do so) and misreports his figures which, after loads of time, he and his team have found holes in to show his area is overperforming, not as she's shown. Personality wise, she sounds quite gleeful when being obstructive to others.
So hard to prove a lot of this and he is absolutely not someone to cause trouble nor was he looking to leave work. This situation is untenable though. As a family we have had a lot of struggles but clearly I need to support whatever he needs to do.
He has noone senior to talk to that he can trust at work. He did work in HR years ago, knows the team there quite well and they have given basic advice e.g. speak to the MD about how he is feeling. He will also jot down anything significant he can think of.
Would love some advice from an HR prespective and, most importantly, re how to deal with this sort of personality and behaviour (for me too as I know a few challenging people and could be less people-pleasing myself!).
Thanks for reading. Sorry it's long - avoiding drip feed.
Could he look at constructive dismissal if he’s been there a few years? Basically I’m leaving because the working environment is hostile? Even if he just had a meeting with the md to flag his Concerns and say it is something he is feeling pushed to do then perhaps they might take action? Also if she is going directly to his team he needs to encourage them to put complaints in writing - even if they are in writing to him - so he has evidence of other people reporting the issue.
If the purchasing manager is at peer level, why isn't he discussing his concerns directly with her? It sounds like he's listening to Office tittle tattle and rumour mill rather than confronting the matter head on
"My departmental figures are inaccurate on this report, please can you correct them"
"I understand you contacted Bill about the April expenditures. I'd appreciate it if you could discuss any queries and concerns with me in future please."
If they are new they may be doing things differently which isn't the same as having it in for your DH. He needs to use his authority just as she is using hers.
If a senior person came to me saying the sorts of things you’re saying on his behalf I’d wonder why I was employing them. He needs to push back. She’s clearly out of line and trying to dominate him (if what you’re saying is accurate), but he should have the experience and resilience to deal with it.
Its great that you share so much with him, you sound really supportive, maybe encourage him to stand up for himself a bit more. There are a million resources available, including one-to-one coaching in person, or via Skype or phone.