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Workplace rudeness might create more problems than expected

As you know, it is not pleasant to work with someone who is rude, condescending or abusive. However, rudeness in the workplace not only undermines productivity but can cause problems that affect your own wellbeing. You and other New Jersey residents may benefit from understanding the consequences of working with people who project their unhappiness onto others.

In a study cited by the Harvard Business Review, abusive behavior by a superior potentially did more damage than merely making the workplace unpleasant. In the experiment, 24 neonatal intensive care unit teams worked on a hypothetical situation involving a critically ill infant. Half of those in the study received neutral comments by a medical expert. In the other half, an expert insulted team members and questioned their abilities and professionalism. It may not surprise you to learn that the teams which endured taunts and insults performed poorly in comparison with the other teams. In fact, the fictional infant had a reduced chance of surviving when the teams experiencing demeaning and critical comments cared for it.

How does this pertain to workers' compensation? When you must endure negative criticism, belittling, rudeness or yelling from your employer or coworkers, you could end up with more serious issues than simply not looking forward to coming in to work. These may include the following:

  • Developing a stress-related illness, such as anxiety, depression or post-traumatic stress disorder
  • Exacerbating a previous physical or emotional condition from the stress
  • Experiencing unfair discipline or termination of employment due to lack of team morale and productivity

On the opposite end, studies where employees felt valued and respected by their superiors showed significantly higher instances of employee engagement, focus and satisfaction. Not surprisingly, you might enjoy your job a great deal more when you are facing daily harassment and bullying by those you work with. It is interesting to see how these studies show a correlation between employees' behavior and their health and happiness, which may hopefully in the future contribute to better workplaces for you and others.

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