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performance improvement process after burnout leave


Dear Expats,
I returned to my job after a long-term leave of 4 months and they immediately announced that a performance improvement process will start based on the latest performance assessment during my absence. For the last two years, I have been working under a very difficult manager who has bullied and morally harrased me for a long time. Under his management, I could not perform at all due to his behavior and I was working under fear and micromanagement. They now informed me about the process that was commenced immediately after my return. Is there any action that I can take or should only start immediately looking for a new job? I know that I can make an official complaint to the safety advisor and I can also inform the union but is that something that will help? Is there anything else that I can do?


Find a new job that you like. This is what you do 5 days per week so being miserable is pure hell.

Jul 15, 2021 23:48

Q. I know that ....... I can also inform the union but is that something that will help?

A. If you are working in an oppressive and fearful environment then yes, it probably would.

Jul 16, 2021 10:32

Life's too short. Find another job.

Make the end fun - contact the union and make a formal complaint for bullying against this guy. It should get round the company in next to no time and you should see other people putting in complaints as well. Bullies are rarely popular.

Jul 18, 2021 21:36

Dear JimGr88,

First of all, I am sorry to hear that you had to live and work through a burnout and now had to return to a hostile-sounding work environment.
I work in HR and my first thought reading your description was that the performance improvement process they're making you follow may not be well-intentioned. It is hard to judge based on just a paragraph and I obviously do not know your performance history so take my words with a grain of salt but depending on the culture of the organization, they may be wanting you out or they may've been pissed at you for taking a 4-month leave and now wish to use the PIP as a punishment. In my opinion, there's nothing constructive about putting an employee on a PIP upon their return from a long-term sick leave.
It's up to you to decide what the best option may be for you.
Your company's culture and how they've dealt with similar cases before will give you a hint of how they'll deal with your case too. I suggest you look and ask around and observe and decide upfront what your desired outcome is before you make your next move.
Most important thing here is that you get your confidence and your power back and not get lost in frustration. Your biggest asset is you and it is wise to protect your biggest asset. It may be worthwhile to work with a coach that you can connect with. There are several English-speaking certified coaches in Brussels, ask if they can help you. Here's the contact info of one coach specialised in corporate burnout cases, he is very easy to talk to, has a corporate background and is experienced in the area. And as far as I know, he offers a free introductory session. This may be a good starting point for you.
I wish you all the best and once again, you are your biggest asset, do not ever forget that. I hope all works well for you.

Jul 24, 2021 15:14