I have been a member for over 2 years but this is my first venture into the forums. I would like some assistance regarding handling a situation with an apparently bullying team leader. I lead 5 teams of 94 staff in a government organisation in Australia. I have four team leaders directly reporting to me. I lead the other team. One of the team leaders has had a variety of issues over the last couple of years both with her own health - she had a work place accident resulting in a back injury, and her home life cause issues. During this time there have been incidents within her team. A couple of major ones have been handled correctly by her in regards to legislation and protocol and I have supported and mentored her through these. One is still unresolved by upper management even though they assure her there is nothing to worry about. She is attempting to get final resolution but upper management are dragging their heels and not providing support, this is a common occurrence. They require us to performance manage staff but then don't provide back up. This contributes to this team leader's stress levels.
I conduct fairly regular one on ones and during these attempt to provide guidance on handling situations and the desired behaviours. There have been rumours oft this team leader of 'bullying' staff and putting pressure on them to perform. Her staff appear to be scared of her. Whenever I have endeavoured to explore the situations the staff back down and the team leader claims that they misinterpreted her actions. She also claims that she modifies her behaviour after our discussions. She claims they are a happy team. They are a fairly high performing team, it is mainly computer based processing work. She is always willing to take on extra tasks and willingly attends manager training sessions.
I was approached by two new members of her team on Friday. They have come from another section and still learning our work. They both claimed varying degrees of bullying behaviour over the last two weeks. They don't wish to formalize their complaints at this point but obviously want it to stop,. My thoughts are to ask the team leader what type of behaviour she excepts from myself and then how do I react when she does not complete a task I have set etc, then hopefully ask why she can not give her staff the same courtesy. My concerns are obviously for the well being of her team but also her own welfare. I feel if I confront her it may cause her to go off on stress related leave. She continually tells me she does not need to speak to EAP even though I found her shaking with rage the other day about the issue mentioned above. I am concerned that this team leader is now past modifying her behaviour and has been lying to me about her approach with staff.