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Over the last 30 years, violence at the workplace has become a common occurrence as evident in the United States. In the U.S. cases of workplace violence has risen tremendously and accounts for 20% of all reported violent crimes (Dobrin, 1996). These cases of violence have surprised many U.S. citizens, rendering media to raise eyebrows over this catastrophe. It is alarming to note that cases of workplace violence are rising predominantly, following the current recession experienced in the U.S (Dobrin, 1996).
Rise in Workplace Violence
Workplace violence in the U.S is rising. This is due to changes in work condition. Therefore, employees are becoming more aggressive, thus, contributing to increased pressure in the work place. Some employees fail to withstand this pressure and feel sidelined, therefore, developing stress. Such occurrence invokes a tense environment that is likely to produce cases of violence in the workplace. United States is currently experiencing recession.
Most of the corporations are firing their workers, a condition that has mounted pressure and uncertainty among employees in workplaces. This has seen most employees lose their jobs, and this has led to social problems such as; catering for their basic needs arises. Such scenarios invoke workers temperament and contribute to the creation of tense environment. Therefore, workers operate under pressure, where such tense environment is a key complement to violence in the workplace.
Another factor propelling workplace violence is the legislation of law in various states, in the U.S such as Florida, Georgia and Louisiana allowing employees to carry weapons at their workplace (Dobrin, 1996). When tension arises in the workplace and employees have weapons, it is more likely that they will use them to contain such situations. In such cases violence might arise, leading to shooting or other acts of provocation to fellow workers.
Constituent of Workplace Violence
Violence in the workplace composes many forms, ranging from minor to extreme aggression. It entails acts such as, threats, physical violence, shouting, and molesting a worker. In other instances, fellow workers might team up against another worker. This form of discrimination makes a worker feel deprived and thus can easily lead to stress and trigger the workers’ emotions, leading him or her to violence.
However, aggression does not come from fellow workers alone, managers also initiate hostility to employees on occasions when they act hash on them. Workers have different personalities and, therefore, possess different capabilities to cope with tension and pressure in the workplace. Some workers are more tolerant than others and are able to withstand hash treatment and poor working conditions. However, other workers are less tolerant and are quick to act when engaged in hash conditions at the workplace. Workplace violence may also constitute the gender element. Women in most workplaces emerge as victims of molestation.
Sometimes women are harassed sexually by their boss and fellow workers. Sexual harassment does not always mean physical harassment alone. In some cases it means use of abusive language to women. Such scenarios are particularly prevalent in the workplace and this cause feeling of discomfort to women. Racism is yet another form of workplace violence. In tense and pressure environment, most of the workers are intolerant and might constantly use abusive language to their fellow workers. Workplace environment is composed of workers from different religions. Sometimes it is more common for some workers to feel that their religion is more superior to other workers religion. Such feeling creates discrimination and could easily lead to violence in workplaces.
Effect of Violence in the Workplace
Workplace violence produces negative effect to involved and also to uninvolved workers. Teamwork is highly encouraged to enhance productivity by workers, and it becomes compromised when cases of violence emerge. Therefore, violence in the workplace considerably impedes productivity of fellow workers. Conducive environment is mostly needed in the workplace. Cases of violence corrupt this fundamental, hence reducing the overall performance of the workers. Hostility in the workplace also damages the overall reputation of workers and therefore, taints the entire image of the organization.
Personality Traits and Violence in Workplace
Human beings possess different personalities. This aspect helps some workers to cope with hardship and aggression in the workplace than others. Workers traits vary disproportionately in the workplace, where some are more aggressive than others, and thus, they are able to perform under extreme hostile conditions. Other workers have low self-esteem and, therefore, less aggressive easily tempered.
Assessing Risk Factor for Violent Behavior in Companies
It is unfortunate to note that violence is common in most workplaces; therefore, at some point in time workers suffer from stress and psychological turmoil. Risk assessment for violent behavior is necessary in companies to contain violence and other predicaments in the workplace, from hampering workers’ productivity.
Workers should be adequately trained to note fellow workers psychological condition such as stress, and thus, report such incidents to the human resource department for corrective measures to be taken and prevent violent behavior from erupting. Companies should also enforce law and regulation concerning workplace violence, and ensure that the security of the company is alerted in time in case of any violence, in the company. Companies should set a psychology department to offer counseling services to stressed worker.
Workplace violence is on the rise due to the recession and the many layoffs being experienced in U.S today. The government, employers and other stakeholders should come up with legislations or the way forward for a better economy. The common workers on their part should take it upon themselves to reduce these cases to the minimum.
Dobrin, A. (1996). Statistical handbook on violence in America. Phoenix, Ariz: Oryx Press.