Here's a FREE selection of articles that address many different problems and situations in your workplace.
WHEN A PERSON IS CALLED ON THEIR COMMENTS OR JOKES,
THEIR RESPONSE IS "IT'S ONLY A JOKE" OR “CAN'T YOU TAKE A JOKE?”
A WOMAN IN A MALE DOMINATED WORKPLACE GETS LESS THAN KIND
COMMENTS FROM THE GUYS AND WHEN ASKED ABOUT IT QUIETLY,
SHE SAYS IT DOESN'T BOTHER HER, OR SHE CAN TAKE IT
ASKING A PERSON WHO IS CONSIDERED A "MINORITY"
TO DO TASKS OTHERS ARE REQUIRED TO DO, YET THEY CRY FOUL
EMPLOYEES WHO MAKE DISPARAGING COMMENTS ABOUT MANAGEMENT AND MANAGERS WHO MAKE DISPARAGING COMMENTS ABOUT UNIONS, GENERALLY
WHEN SEVERAL EMPLOYEES MAKE DEROGATORY COMMENTS ABOUT
ANOTHER EMPLOYEE, WHO IS NOT PRESENT, AND OUTSIDE OF WORK
WHEN SOMEONE TELLS A JOKE, MOST PEOPLE LAUGH, BUT IT'S INAPPROPRIATE, ESPECIALLY FOR ONE PARTICULAR EMPLOYEE, BUT NO ONE SAYS ANYTHING
WHEN EMPLOYEES DON'T WANT TO PICK UP THE SLACK BECAUSE A CHRISTIAN EMPLOYEE NEEDS TIME OFF FOR MASS AND WON'T WORK ON SUNDAYS
WHEN AN EMPLOYEE TAKES PART IN REPUGNANT, BUT NOT ILLEGAL ACTIVITIES, SUCH AS A WHITE SUPREMACIST GROUP, OUTSIDE OF WORK
YET NEVER SAYS OR DOES ANYTHING AT WORK
WHEN TWO EMPLOYEES WERE VERY GOOD FRIENDS, BUT HAD A PHYSICAL FIGHT OUTSIDE WORK AND NOW ONE OF THEM WON'T WORK WITH THE OTHER
OVER SOME OPEN FORM OF COMMUNICATION (RADIO OR GROUP EMAIL) AN EMPLOYEE STATES ABOUT ONE OF THE GUYS, "IT MUST BE THAT TIME OF THE MONTH" BECAUSE THIS FELLOW WAS BEING TOO EMOTIONAL
WHEN A WOMAN CAN’T DO THE SAME PHYSICAL WORK
A MALE CO-WORKER CAN DO, BUT IT’S ONLY A SMALL PART OF THE JOB
WHEN A PERSON APPEARS ALMOST RUDE IN EMAILS, BUT IN PERSON THEY COME ACROSS DIFFERENTLY – CONSIDERATE
WHEN SOMEONE WON’T TAKE “NO” FOR AN ANSWER – THEY HAVE EXHAUSTED ALL APPEALS AND PEOPLE DON’T SEE IT HIS WAY
WHEN SOMEONE IS AFRAID TO SAY ANYTHING TO SOMEONE WHO IS “DIFFERENT” FOR FEAR OF A COMPLAINT OR INSULTING THESE PEOPLE
PERSONS LOWER THEIR VOICES WHEN TALKING ABOUT SOMEONE WHO IS (WHISPER) “BLACK”
From childhood we’ve run into people who treat others miserably, and when we peeled away the layers, we found the bad treatment they received was justification for their present behaviour. It seems that a better approach would be to think, “Because that happened to me and I know how it feels, I’ll never do that to another person.” Alas, not everyone is as enlightened as that.
At work, there are loads of people who have this exact attitude. When they started their job they were treated like crap, or there was a certain ritual they had to go through that was less than pleasant. The only salvation for such people is putting in their time and waiting until they got enough seniority to do the same to the junior people. It’s easy to justify because it’s all about “paying my dues.” We find this in many workplaces of various kinds. Even the Supreme Courts of any country has certain rituals for the newest judge.
Since an employee has been waiting to “get back” at another employee, it may seem they are being deprived. They will need to understand that what happened to them was wrong and passing it on is no longer an option. We’re not talking about some harmless good natured rituals; we’re talking about rude or disrespectful behaviour that no one should have to endure.
In a discussion, individually or in a group, identify what is disrespectful or down right nasty about the behaviour or actions that are causing the problems. Ask those involved as to why they would treat a person in such a manner. When you have identified that it is “because I got treated that way” then ask them if they liked it. The person(s) might try to say that’s not the point, so you need to bring them to the fact that it is the very point you want to address. Have a discussion about letting them know that what happened to them was wrong and it’s just as wrong to pass it onto others. If there are harmless rituals every agrees are about “paying dues” then identify what is acceptable and what is not.
“I want to talk to you about the way you treat Bob. I’ve seen this kind of behaviour towards the rookies throughout my career. I thought it was wrong then and it’s still wrong today. I went through the same thing when I first started and it even left me with bad feelings towards people who I don’t think are bad at all. I want us to make a break from the past.”
(after establishing that it’s from past experience) “Did you really enjoy when that happened to you? Then how about we do better than what people did to you (or us) and we’ll be better people for it.”
“Just as we want lives to be better for our kids, I think we should apply the same principle to the new people who join our workforce. Let’s identify those things that are harmless rituals and those things that are in fact harmful. We can keep the harmless ones, but we have to make a break from the past and get rid of the harmful ones.”
Stephen Hammond, B.A., LL.B., CSP
If you have any questions, please contact Stephen.
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