September 15th, 2012

Requisite Steps to Restore Dignity at Work


For America to accomplish such a restoration, it’s going to take changes in education, workplaces (i.e., employers’ attitudes toward workers), legal reform, and a general societal overhaul.

Changes in Education

• teach children and adults to honor other individuals who work for a living – elevate purposeful, spiritually fulfilling work with a person’s hands and brains to a level of status above “getting rich by doing the least work possible”

• raise children in coming generations to abandon bullying in school and to simultaneously expect & deliver respectful treatment – reverse the powerful normative pressure that discounts disrespect as not harmful

• change the language of organizations – eliminate the term “subordinate,” minimize “top down” direction, and the designation of being at the “bottom” of the org chart

Workplace Changes

• senior leadership commits to creating a workplace culture that shuns abusers and focuses on supporting those targeted for abuse – a complete reversal of existing norms – leaders lead by example and are held accountable for violating the new principles

• restore management training – using a progressive curriculum that includes how to teach, to use empathy, to match human skills to task demands, to focus on development rather than traditional, outdated command-and-control techniques that mask managerial incompetence

• voluntarily adopt and faithfully enforce policies and procedures that specifically address “status-blind” forms of harassment, those incidents not covered by current anti-discrimination policies or laws

• when hiring, identify and exclude those with records of being hyper-aggressive (interview staff who worked with, and under, the manager at previous employers in addition to those who supervised them)

• assign responsibility for sustaining the Dignified & Safe Workplace initiative to an internal peer team of employees trained as specialists in the causes and impact of abusive work environments – not HR or senior management

• ensure continuity of the initiative across changes in executives, managers, HR and expert peer team members

Legal Reform

• enact legislation to supplement existing employment law that either rewards good employers who voluntarily ensure psychologically safe workplaces for employees (free from abusive conduct) or provides incentives for negligent employers to create and sustain such work environments in compliance with the new law

• enact legislation that mandates employers to create and enforce policies and procedures that prohibit health-harming, deliberate abusive conduct perpetrated by any other employee or employees

• create special courts or tribunals to hear complaints based on the new laws that do not allow either complainant or defendant to be represented by legal professionals – creating a level field for individuals seeking justice from corporations

Societal Changes

• teach the history of American unions and their struggles for survival – identify new heroes who sacrificed their lives so working conditions for others would improve — the 8 hr. day, child labor banishment, vacation pay

• minimize societal glorification of CEO salaries, CEO personalities, CEO celebrity – would probably have to boycott shows on TV business channels

• establish a new daily American scorecard – replace the Dow Jones & NASDAQ totals updated every 5 minutes with a “Well-Being Index” based on access to health care, mental health services, and food guidelines not driven by corporate agriculture enterprises

• publicize National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) decisions – support the right for workers to unionize in the private sector without interference from employers

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Dignity at Work, part 1

Dignity at Work, part 2

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This entry was posted on Saturday, September 15th, 2012 at 9:30 am and is filed under Commentary by G. Namie, The New America, Tutorials About Bullying, WBI Education. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.



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  1. Foreverstrong223 says:

    I am a victim of boss bullying who recently resigned from a very well
    know hospital in NYC.. I resigned earlier this year 2012. Enough is
    enough. I’m now being offered reinstatement and wages. I don’t want to
    work for this company anymore and I didn’t accept the company’s
    monetary offers. I want to take my case to Supreme Court. Whether I
    win or lose I am willing to go all the way because a lot of people that
    may hear my case will hopefully come forward and speak about the abuse
    they have been dealing with on their jobs for years.

    • Cheryl Pelletier says:

       If you have the mental and financial strength to do so….good luck.  I do not know your case but I doubt the Supreme Court would even consider hearing this unless the bullying was sexual/racial in nature. My bosses did NOTHING illegal as my state has no law to insure a healthy workplace (WA state). 

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