Workplace hostility runs rampant in the corporate world with little remedy, which is the number one reason you might hate your job. As we delve into the reasons of little to no conflict resolution, theories abound and could explain why you hate your job and why self-employment is looking better every day.
In defining hostile behavior in the workplace, it is understood that a reasonable person who is the receiver of harassment, threats, and physical attacks is justified in seeking a remedy to the conflict in pursuit of a better working environment. However, in most cases, the act of seeking resolution is the point in which unemployment is imminent or life at work will be hell while you deal with the conflict daily. Because people have different personalities, hostility has become the normal behavior, which, from personal experiences, is defined as just a strong personality. Really?
There are many industries affected by workplace hostility and, surprisingly, the healthcare industry is a good example of “violent” hostility among employees. Physicians are known for their abrasive, type A personalities that undoubtedly stem from being overworked in a moderately staffed hospital. Much of the conflict arises from the nurses who are usually burdened with the responsibility of caring for patients whose life is left in their care. Without seamless communication between physicians and nurses, internal hostility is a guaranteed situation and is the case in many hospitals.
In cases of ongoing hostility, there are certain liabilities that could potentially unravel into a bigger problems that, when not addressed properly, become part of a cyclical problem that claims hardworking casualties, who would otherwise, continue to be engaging and valuable to a firm that adheres to an effective policy for conflict resolution. What would be considered an effective conflict resolution template for all occupations across the board?
Consider the problems that arise from the daily grind. The standard conflicts that transpire happen either between employees or between employee and superior. As such, the standard solution is simple: Gather facts; pinpoint the history between the employees, examine needs, goals, etc.; identify all perceptions of one employee toward the other; and clarify – guaranteed, all of these general points are stuffed in a black binder in any given HR office.
The problem is dealing with a person who is seeking a remedy after dealing with the conflict for so long that caring about a resolution becomes a moot issue. A reasonable person will pick and choose their battles, hoping that the conflict will be noticed by a superior and dealt with accordingly. But in many cases, conflicts are overlooked, which result in a dysfunctional work relationship on all sides.
Does the burden of seeking resolution lie with the employees? Yes and no. if you are a superior, you are dealing with a problem that could have been nipped in the bud had there been actual management in the workplace – conflicts do not suddenly emerge – morale will tell you that. If you are a subordinate, you are now dealing with riding the fence among fellow employees who can make your life at work hell, depending on which side you choose. If you choose to act on seeking resolve, you will be labeled a troublemaker or high maintenance. Because real life is not a sitcom where standing up for yourself is applauded, you choose to both quit and risk long-term unemployment or stay and choose the side from which you are less likely to suffer – the quintessential reasons why you hate your job and why work hostility continues to exist. Acknowledging such issues on a personal level should help in evaluating the fundamental reasons why self-employment is the answer for those on both ends of the echelon spectrum.
Written by: Dianna Coudriet
Lencioni, P. (2007). The three signs of a miserable job. San Francisco, California: Jossey-Bass.