Barclays, the British bank, has revisited the ways it compensates its employees by looking at not only their performance, but also the way they behave with coworkers and customers. The policy adjustment is fascinating, and it will be interesting if more companies follow.
I’m sure most people who have worked in a corporate setting have run into a workplace bully. They usually reserve their best bullying behavior in conference rooms or on emails. You know the email where you just stare at your screen and don’t know whether to feel sorry for you or them.
What is interesting about the Barclays announcement is an individual’s performance will only be worth half of their total comp. The other 50 percent will come from internal relationships and feedback from their clients and customers.
The WSJ provided these details of the Barclays policy:
“Barclays advisers will receive about half of their pay in the form of a monthly payment; the other half will be paid out every three months, according to people familiar with the new arrangement. While both payments will be based on a production formula similar to that at other firms, the quarterly payment also takes into account values-based criteria that include professional conduct and customer complaints. Poor performance in these areas could lead to a reduced payout.”
So, how prominent is workplace bullying? So prominent there’s actually a Workplace Bullying Institute (WBI) that has been established to track and report on the trend. The WBI conducts a survey every four years. Their findings from the 2010 round are pretty interesting:
- 35% of workers had experienced bullying firsthand
- 62% of bullies are men; 58% of targets are women
- Women bullies target women in 80% of cases
The last statement makes sense because the majority (68%) of bullying is same-gender harassment. Research published in the journal Human Performance seems to agree; the study found that workplace bullies are more likely to single out colleagues they consider unattractive. What does that say about same-sex judgment?
Maybe. Individual states have been trying to put a “Healthy Workplace Bill” into legislation to give some legal and regulatory protection over employees; this makes sense since researchers at the University of British Columbia found that bullying bosses are more likely to achieve high social status. That study looked at the role dominance played into influence and authority. If the boss is a bully, then maybe the employee sitting in the cube needs some governmental air cover.
A CareerBuilder study published in 2012 found that the most common bullying tactics were: falsely accused of making mistakes, being ignored and used different standards/policies than what was used with other workers.
To summarize, don’t be mean. No matter how far it gets you.