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Feeling bullied at work? You aren’t alone!

April 29, 2022
Tija Hunter believes people could be a lot nicer these days. She's seen some hateful posts on social media, and she doesn't understand why dental pros don't treat each other better.

Why am I hearing so many stories about team members being treated poorly? These are not isolated cases but one after another. Some people share screen shots of the way team members—and I mean all team members—are spoken to by the dentists or office managers. What is going on?

Office managers are berated by the dentist, and team members are berated by office managers, the dentist, and even other team members. Team members aren’t the only ones being bullied; dentists and office managers are bullied too. What’s happened to professionalism, tact, couth, and just being kind? Granted, I don’t know all of the story and there is always two sides; however, some of the things I’ve seen don’t feel called for in any situation.

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When you send something via text that’s downright nasty, know that it will become a screenshot, and boy, I’ve seen plenty of them on social media. I don’t care what position you hold in the office, you have no right to be hateful, hurtful, and ugly to each other.

I feel like the world has gotten rather ugly lately. Stress is high. Our workforce has been shattered. We’ve spent the last two years going through a pandemic that brought on undue pressure for us all. Dare I ask, how can things get worse? Sadly, they can.

What we all must keep in mind is that everyone is stressed; it’s not just you! It’s important to keep a level head and realize that everyone has their own kind of crazy going on. Business owners are still suffering; they’ve lost income and now they can’t find enough team members to handle the workload. I get it; that’s stressful! But I think the bosses forget how much stress is on the team when we’re shorthanded. This works both ways.

People have to know that being kind is one of the most important things we should do every single day. The world is full of hate, and you must rise above it and intentionally be kind to one another.

What if the boss is the bully?

Get out! I’m sorry, but why are you staying in a situation that isn’t healthy? Why are you afraid to leave a toxic environment? Why are you putting up with problems that really aren’t yours? Why are you fighting the doctor about proper infection control? Why are you cutting corners when you know it’s not right, but you’re made to feel as if you must do as you’re told? Just, why?

Is there a toxic employee, but he or she is the boss’s favorite? If multiple people are complaining about a person and the trouble they’re causing, the boss has to do something about it. Being best friends with an employee who causes issues is a poor way for a boss to handle a bad situation. One person cannot run the show and chase off all the good team members. The person knows they have control and they’re using the boss to manipulate the workplace. They’re more than likely bullying other team members, and those team members can’t go to the boss because they feel threatened by his or her relationship with the toxic person. The office is losing good people to keep one; is that worth it? 

It goes both ways

Dental team members are in demand throughout the country! Offices everywhere are short-handed, so take this opportunity to find a place where you’re respected. If turnover is high in an office, we all know why. You simply must value yourself enough to stand up and stop being treated so poorly. The job market is huge right now and there’s no reason whatsoever to allow someone to bully you.

Dust off your résumé, update it, keep it to one page, and get out there and look for a new office. Social media promotes job openings, and Indeed and DentalPost are also good places to search for a better opportunity.

Employers, do what you need to do to retain valued members. A high hourly wage is not always the ultimate; what are your benefits? Take a good long look at what you’re offering and see if there’s something that could sweeten the deal. Talk to your people to find out what they want. We all know it’s expensive to lose a good employee. If you don’t value your people, someone else will!