Gaslighting at Work

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Health Assured team

28 August 2020

Gaslighting is a form of emotional abuse which can have significant impacts on someone’s self-worth and self-confidence. In the workplace, it can cause major damage to employee relations and business output.

In the UK, gaslighting in the workplace is not considered unlawful. But you are still legally bound to protect your staff from misconduct and ill-treatment.

Health Assured offer expert guidance on eliminating gaslighting behaviour–protecting employee wellbeing, whilst meeting your legal and moral duties.

Let’s take a look at what gaslighting is, how to spot the signs, and ways to eliminate it from the workplace.

What is gaslighting at work?

Gaslighting is a form of inappropriate and manipulative abuse, which can often be found in toxic relationships.

Abusing power and control is a classic example of gaslighting by an employer. Over time, it can significantly affect a person’s self-esteem and self-worth.

The abuser manipulates or alters a situation, making the victim doubt themselves and their reality. The victim might be oblivious to emotional abuse at first; but may start to question their sanity.

Gaslighting commonly occurs within romantic relationships. But it can be found between close relations, family members, and colleagues.

What are the signs of gaslighting?

People who gaslight others may be diagnosed with specific mental health issues, like borderline personality disorder (BPD) or narcissistic personality disorder (NPD). The most common signs include:

  • Habitual or pathological lying.
  • Narcissistic tendencies.
  • Demeaning or overpowering others.
  • Acting blameless.
  • Using compassionate words as weapons.

What are the effects of being gaslighted at work?

If you don’t deal with gaslighting behaviour at work, you could face serious consequences. It can affect employee morale and business production–leading to grievance claims.

Some consequences include:

  • Increase in absenteeism.
  • Increase in workplace stress and depression.
  • Reduced productivity.
  • Reduction in quality of work.
  • Effects on performance and conduct.

How to eliminate gaslighting in the workplace

It’s important to know how to deal with someone gaslighting at work. By managing the situation, you can simultaneously protect employee wellbeing and business reputation.

Here are steps on how to eliminate gaslighting in the workplace:

  • Introduce an HR policy: This should outline your values on workplace behaviour. And highlight a commitment to building positive work relationships.
  • Enforce your duty of care: All employers are legally required to protect their staff. This includes actively eliminating any signs of discrimination or bullying.
  • Provide reporting procedures: Your staff should understand how to report incidents. They should be confident to raise issues without any fear of victimisation.
  • Train management: Your managers should fully understand the consequences of gaslighting. And must be able to spot signs and support those affected by it.

Get expert advice on gaslighting with Health Assured

You can meet legal and moral duties by eliminating all case of gaslighting. Whether it happens inside the workplace or out–if an employee is raises an incident, you need to support them.

Neglecting your legal duty of care can lead to huge reciprocations for your business.

At Health Assured, we provide expert advice on eliminating gaslighting. Our teams offer guidance on employee wellbeing whilst simultaneously meeting your business needs.

We also provide a 24/7 helpline, that’s open 365 days a year–helping you care for your staff all year round. Arrange a call back from an expert today on 0800 206 2553.

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