Cyber Security Expo
Abuse in the Work Place by Dan Morrill on 08/05/06

This is one of those subjects where it is difficult to quantity what is meant by abuse, and what steps or processes can lead to work place abuse. Each person in the office space will have a different viewpoint on what constitutes abuse. While legally we can define abuse, and we can make appropriate actions and sanctions for company defined abuse, it is not always as clear-cut as a company policy or sanctions. While there will usually be tell tail signs of work place abuse, many of them will go unnoticed by the majority of people in the company. We do not want to see abuse, so we will ignore it because either it does not influence us, or we cover it over saying it is not affecting us in the longer run. Most of us will agree that work place violence is someone who walks into the organization with the means and intent to kill. Work place abuse is more subtle and can run the gamut from screaming and yelling or actively sabotaging anotherís career, all the way through to rumors, ostracizing of the victim, or even blogging about a person either at work or out of work. For many people this may be just a normal function of work and not appear to be abuse, but rather how things are. While for others the problems compound upon each other until the person is taking sick days and vacation time just to recover from the psychological effects of working in a place that they no longer feel welcome at.

The problem begins when that at some point or another in our careers we have worked in an environment that didnít work for us, for what ever reason. These reasons why the environment did not work should be explored so that when looking for a next job, or next move up the career ladder, we pick and choose not only the work, but the work environment that meets individual needs. Not all jobs are fun and have a healthy work environment for the individual. And sometimes bad choices are made by the job candidate because of the need for money or in some cases any place to work, so they take a job that is not in a good place for them to be emotionally. However, abusive behaviors in the world place do impact how others interrelate to each other, how they work in teams, how groups accomplish tasks, and the complete ability of the company to really carry out the day to day task of profitability and survival in the global market place.

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