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What is Workplace Harassment?

Workplace harassment and discrimination have been a popular topic recently, especially after the pandemic hit and everyone was forced to work from home.

I have noticed that there is a lack of information out there on what workplace harassment is, apart from sexual harassment and gender discrimination.

In this post, we will discuss what workplace harassment is, workplace abuse, abusive supervision, and how we can manage these stressful workplace situations.

What is workplace abuse?

Workplace abuse is a sequence of actions or patterns that cause the employee significant physical or emotional distress. Most workplace abuse cases include psychological abuse like public undermining, bullying, threats, and humiliation.

What is abusive supervision?

Abusive supervision is an ongoing hostile environment created by the supervisor that causes high levels of stress and depression to their employees. This negative behavior does not include physical contact between the supervisor and the subordinate. Still, it causes emotional damage to the point of generating high levels of stress and depression for the employee and high turnover rates for the company.

Stress management in the workplace

Research has proven that stress is one of the major causes of abusive supervision. Usually, the team's success relies on the supervisor's competence; this responsibility can cause significant stress to managers when they experience low team performance numbers.

According to recent studies, most people base their self-evaluations on their work performance. Because of this information, most supervisors tend to conceptualize low team performance being a direct indicator of who they are as leaders or who their employees are as people. Incorporating this belief that team performance correlates to their leadership value can cause significant stress levels for management and abuse subordinates.

The cause of abusive supervision is why it is essential to incorporate stress management training and awareness for leadership. Studies suggest that one way to reduce management stress and emotional exhaustion to prevent supervisor abuse is to provide a difference in perspective regarding " leader" and "outcome." This training should incorporate a different view of what it entails to be the leader or manager of a team.

It is also essential for companies to train managers on the way to find better and more creative solutions to drive success by working together and motivating their employees. A way to solve this issue is to redesign performance appraisal tools in the organization. Some examples include providing stress management training for managers and developing skills to handle a low-performance team.

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