Workplace abuse is a rampant phenomenon, one that continues to rear its ugly head in corporate circles. This not only imparts the corporate health of the organization, it also affects the health of the individuals affected, making it important to consider the impact that workplace abuse has on the staff.
Abuse at the workplace
It is interesting to note that while for many job-seekers looking for an opportunity to work, the most important factors tend to revolve around remuneration, great job offers as well as a sound working environment. Very few people figure that abuse could actually happen at the workplace, thus jeopardizing their career. Needless to say, abuse, whether physical or verbal, has a lasting impression on the abused man or woman.
The most disturbing thing, however, is that workplace abuse is more common than many people would like to think, yet it has been pushed to society’s periphery. This form of abuse has been sucked in by societal norms and nuances, so much so that abused people tend to keep silent to avoid victimization.
Types of abuse that employees can experience at the workplace
There are four distinct types of abuse at the workplace, all of which have an impact on work relations. The first type that abused men and women suffer from at the workplace is Acute scapegoating. In this form of abuse, other employees tend to pick on the abused individual, and subject him to unwarranted treatment. This form of abuse ceases when the abused employee leaves the company.
Chronic scapegoating on the other hand, is the second form of workplace abuse. This is similar to acute scapegoating, and the only difference is that in the former, one employee is ‘chosen’ as the person to whom everyone else unleashes their negative energy. This often emanates from issues that the company has failed to address, and is probably one of the most difficult forms of abuse to address. Sadly, when the abused employee leaves the company, another is ‘chosen’ for the scapegoat role.
Neglectful abuse is the third form of abuse at the workplace. This revolves around the company’s failure to meet employee basic needs, a factor which has been seen to contribute to health issues at the workplace. When an employer persistently fails to use sound methods of conflict resolution, employees suffer what is referred to as denial of due process, which is the last type of workplace abuse.
How can companies care for abused men and women in the organization?
Since it is pretty hard to pinpoint exactly when workplace abuse begins, and to weigh the effects that it has on employees’ health, it is advisable for companies to create systems where every employee contributes to decision-making. This not only shows employees that they are valued , it also works well for the organization’s corporate health.
Some of the measures in this collaborative approach include setting up open spaces for employees to get together in a less formal setup. Setting up space for health and corporate fitness is one of the most fundamental steps in this regard. Even with this realization, it is important for companies to steer away from an authoritative approach and embrace collaboration. This is a foolproof method to care for abused employees, and certainly address the challenges of abuse at the workplace.
It is important for companies to deal with workplace abuse for the simple reason that any abused man or woman is not productive. Additionally, rampant abuse at work not only erodes at the corporate health of an organization, it also threatens to gnaw at the organization’s culture. Failure to address the challenges faced by abused men and women at work sets up a company for imminent failure.