A recent news of workplace harassment, by the founder of a popular channel, was taking rounds of social media. This is not the first instance of employee abuse at the workplace; rather, it is a major problem that goes unobserved many times. Workplace abuse is today a notorious issue that requires far more attention and acknowledgment than it has received.
Abuse can be physical, mental, or both. There is confusion over the kind of action that comes under workplace abuse or harassment. For the uninitiated, there is a thin line of difference between employee abuse and harassment.
Employee abuse is recurring unreasonable behavior towards an employee, which damages the person’s psychological and physical state to a great extent. On the other hand, employee harassment is an unwelcome conduct by caste, race, gender, etc., which is offending, humiliating, and intimidating. In addition to this, another remarkable fact is that sexual harassment of men and women, both, is equally common.
However, this is not the only form of workplace harassment; some other ways in which employees are abused, include:
These are just some ways in which the management in organizations may abuse employees. Statistics show that 45% of employees are victims of workplace abuse.
The effects of employee abuse are often dire than they are perceived. Working overtime on a regular basis can cause outrageous amounts of stress in employees and lead to an imbalance in their personal life. Verbal abuse tends to lower the morale of the employee and also reduce the level of sophistication in the workplace. Ignorance of employees’ worthiness can lead to depression and make them feel extremely unwanted. This, in turn, may affect the mental state of the victim leading to issues like depression, frustration, lack of motivation, and hatred and rejection of oneself.
Professionals are educated enough and capable of expressing thoughts on diverse matters – good or bad. Then why is it that they avoid voicing their opinions and take strong action against employee abuse?
You’d be surprised to know that there can be several reasons for this, which include:
Being aware of and acknowledging ‘it’ is the first step one can take to restrain workplace bullying. Rather than waiting for others to voice their opinions, begin with yourself!
Every member is jointly responsible for promoting a healthy culture and maintaining the decorum at the workplace. While it is the employee’s onus to highlight such an instance, it is the responsibility of the HR team also to provide solutions to this problem. So, what should an HR personnel do in such a situation?
It is crucial on humanitarian as well as official grounds that the higher officials treat employees with respect. If you are on the management side of the fence, remember that your behavior can cause both negative and positive impact on the employees. If all the employees are treated equally in an organization, it can lead to drastic progress of the organization as everyone will be happy and willing to work. On the other hand, harassment or abuse can demotivate people and lead even the high-performing team members to quit their jobs.
To ensure that a healthy environment is maintained at the workplace and that every member is at his or her productive best, it’s important that feedback is provided in a positive manner and that employees are motivated for their good work. A friendly atmosphere is not just advantageous on the job front; it is an excellent way to keep stress at bay too.
Besides, it’s important that one keeps his eyes and ears open to the happenings at the workplace. There can be someone who’s silently bearing it all. Remember to provide a helping hand to the one that needs it.
Michael J. Fox once quoted “One’s dignity may be assaulted, vandalized and cruelly mocked but it can never be taken away unless it is surrendered.” To secure one’s dignity, employee abuse must never be ignored, and every employee should be entitled to fair practices and just treatment at the workplace.