Friday, 7 December 2018

Bullying Taken To A New Level

A One-Person Retirement Machine

A spotlight has been turned on a one man (err, person) retirement machine--Dianne Maxwell.  She serves as the country's Retirement Commissioner and effectively reports to herself.  She is a one man (err, person) Commissioner with a bunch of staff.

Newsroom has published an expose of Maxwell's management style.  Few could question her effectiveness.  She apparently believes that her primary responsibility is to push and shove as many of her staff into retirement as possible.  How does she do this?  Allegedly by bullying her staff into resigning.
A government agency run by one, all-powerful commissioner has experienced an eye-watering turnover of staff. A Newsroom investigation has uncovered allegations from more than a dozen former staff who say their boss, Diane Maxwell, has overseen a culture of bullying and management which impacted the health and wellbeing of multiple staff. [Newsroom]
It would appear that Maxwell has taken a plain and simple view of the place and function of the Retirement Commission.  She aims to see as many staff as possible retire out of its ranks, to be replaced by "fresh meat" which in turn will be entering the ranks of the retired shortly.

Newsroom has spoken to more than a dozen former employees who have shared their own experiences of working for Maxwell.  The details they share, like having work ripped up in front of them, being publicly shamed during meetings, and walking on eggshells, unsure “which Diane” would show up at work on any given day are concerning, but the pattern over many staff, is alarming.  One said they and others in the public sector referred to the organisation as The Commission for Diane Maxwell.  Almost half the commission's staff left in the past financial year. Over the five years, there has been an average of 44 percent of staff quitting or departing.
 An average (per year?) of 44% of staff quitting.  An outstanding achievement towards swelling the ranks of the retired. 

If there were ever a "climate" in which allegations of work place bullying would attract critical attention--especially in the ranks of those employed by the State and its vast bureaucracy--it would be now.  But it seems to us that we need to see this in a broader context.  Maxwell is an expert at moving people out of work into retirement.  She ought to receive the highest public service medal. 

Maxwell definitely deserves public recognition for her services towards getting people into retirement. You know, the same the kind of recognition which was given to "headsmen" at the time of Henry VIII.

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