Working Notes: Orlando Sentinel on workplace bullying, Sandy bridges a divide, Kennemer’s scariest workplace practices

I periodically use this Working Notes feature to highlight items worthy of our attention. Here are three for this week:

1. Orlando SentinelGreg Dawson’s piece on workplace bullying opens with the story of Laura Dunavent, a target of workplace bullying turned advocate for the Healthy Workplace Bill:

Laura Dunavent’s voice still quavers when she recalls the darkest chapter of her life.

“I didn’t know what was happening to me. All I knew is that it made me crazy.”

It wasn’t until after Dunavent, a registered ER nurse, quit her job as a case manager for an Orlando insurance carrier — “so I wouldn’t go out of my mind” — that she discovered a name for the emotional torture she says she experienced at work.



…bullying is still in the embryonic stages as a political issue. The [Workplace Bullying Institute] is chief advocate for the legislation drafted by David Yamada, a professor specializing in labor and employment law at Suffolk University Law School in Boston.

2. Hurricane Sandy’s other unanticipated power — Obviously, the destruction wrought by Hurricane Sandy has been the story of the week, and it will continue to dominate the news for some time, especially in the most affected states. In addition, during the past day, we’ve seen heavy coverage of President Obama’s visit to storm-ravaged New Jersey, accompanied closely by New Jersey Governor and outspoken Obama critic Chris Christie.

The two have put aside their political differences to address the task at hand, and it was clear that a physically and emotionally exhausted Christie was genuinely appreciative of the President’s efforts to help his state.

As this distasteful campaign season comes to a merciful end, it’s sad that it took a disaster of such proportions to get our leaders to drop the attacking rhetoric and embrace a true spirit of can-do non-partisanship. However, maybe the images and attitudes will serve as a lesson that endures beyond Hurricane Sandy and Election Day.

3. The People Group’s 5 scariest workplace practices — Kevin Kennemer, principal of The People Group, celebrated Halloween by sharing his 5 scariest workplace practices:

  1. Attendance policies (you hire adults – treat them like it)
  2. Employees must ask permission to leave the office or take PTO (it is not high school anymore)
  3. Incivility and cut-throat politics (it might be funny on reality TV, but not at work)
  4. Supervisors who value face-time over results (it’s not the 1950′s anymore we are all digitally connected and can work anywhere, anyplace, anytime)
  5. A CEO who fails to see the importance of company culture (these companies have lower revenue, two-times the turnover, higher levels of stress, higher healthcare costs, and employee relations nightmares waiting around almost every corner)

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