Organisation - November 29, 2012

One in ten workers experience antisocial behaviour

Antisocial behaviour not dealt with adequately. Confidence in executive board down again.

In the past two years, one in ten workers have come up against antisocial behaviour, most often in the form of intimidation. Only a small proportion of the cases were dealt with adequately. This has come out of the 2012 Staff Monitor, a biennial survey of how we see our work and each other. This time intimidation and antisocial behaviour are asked about in more detail: what happened, who did it, and what action was taken?
The most common form of antisocial behaviour was intimidation or putting someone under pressure, which accounted for almost one quarter of cases. Next came failure to do what was promised, snubbing someone and gossiping. Managers and colleagues are the culprits in equal measure (making up 3 out of 10 cases), and the organization and students are also implicated (3 percent).
Of all the parts of the organization, the ESG got the worst press: 15 percent of its workers have run up against antisocial behaviour. That is more than the overall average by half as much again. Strikingly, at the ESG it is mainly management who indulge in antisocial behaviour: in two thirds of the cases the boss is identified as the culprit.
Equally striking is what is done about most of the cases of intimidation and antisocial behaviour. Only 12 percent of the cases are dealt with properly, in the opinion of the staff concerned; 27 percent of the cases are not dealt with to their satisfaction. The rest have either not been reported or are still pending.
It is also not known what was done about four out of ten of the cases reported in the monitor. Less than half the victims of antisocial behaviour have confidence that their complaint will be dealt with appropriately.
Good atmosphere
Apart from incidental cases of antisocial behaviour, we are positive about each other, on the whole. Our colleagues are collaborative (according to 90 percent of us), the atmosphere in the department is good (say 85 percent) and we work well together within our own units (75 percent). Collaboration with other parts of Wageningen UR has increased considerably, too.
By contrast, our views of the executive board are extremely critical. Only a quarter of us think the board knows what is going on in the organization. Two years ago, this figure was one third. Less than half of us have confidence in the way the board steers the organization.
VHL is not included in the monitor. Apparently, this has very little impact on the results as the trends there are the same. The whole monitor is accessible on the internet.

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