HRSINGAPORE Community Discussions

Verbal Abuse


Dear HR Professionals,

I received a complaint by a staff who said that her superior constantly "barked" at her with a disapproving tone or disgusted tone. This "tone" is used even for normal distributing of tasks to do, updates of tasks, etc. This has been going on for quite some time. She said it started when she did not complete 2 tasks to her superior's satisfaction a year or so ago. Is the constant "disapproval tone" used considered a kind of "verbal abuse"? She felt it could also be due to her advanced age.

Appreciate your thoughts on this.

Thank you.




Reply 1

We know the human relationship is neither black or white. I feel that if the employee can tolerate such verbal treatment with wisdom (zen), the relationship will improve over time.




Reply 2

If you do not approach and counsel the supervisor, I think the victim could approach Union and MOM for mediation, and those diggings will be ugly and bad for the image of the company. I despise such “method” of treating staffs if intentional to chase them away as if he/she is poor performer, just give them the notice period and depart happily; it is a small world.




Reply 3

May I suggest that the HR talk to both the superior and staff to understand the actual root of the matter.

If it is a performance issue, then proper communication has to be given to staff to make her aware and also the way to improve and the time given to do so. Follow up assessment should be performed after to trace the progress. If no progress, then a warning letter should be issued and termination follows if things didn't improve.

If the problem lies with the superior, then it is obvious the leadership style needs to be looked into as this will definitely affect the rest of the team.