29 Mar Declaring Peace (Armistice) at Work
In today’s workforce too many people are stressed and anxious at the thought of going to work. Since everyone has basic needs, it could be argued that feeling safe at work should be one’s basic right. Many recent legislations and updates to workplace health and safety regulations here in Canada has been instituted to reaffirm the notion that it is one’s right to work in an environment that is free of physical and psychological harm.
Are you or someone you know afraid to go to work? Do thoughts of going to work conjure up painful memories, fears and anxiety even sleepless nights? Is the workplace disheartening and alienating? Do you feel unsupported, bullied and harassed?
There is an alarming increase in the number of people who do not return home from work on a global scale. A report issued by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) after an extensive study, showed that “homicide is the second leading cause of fatal occupational injury in the United States. The report stated that almost 1,000 workers are murdered and 1.5 million (about 1-in-4) employees are assaulted in the workplace each year. The Women in Management Review (2000) Domestic Violence reports that “Business is frequently a “battlefield”, with employees waging war against each other. Three people are murdered in the workplace every day in the USA, while an estimated 1 million workers (18,000 a week) are assaulted each year. Report of similar studies around the world have revealed that this is a global social phenomenon that calls everyone at every level of the workforce to action, and especially those of us engaged in the business of advocating for peace through conflict management and other forms of intervention.
The time has come to declare an Armistice Day at Work. As we leave the carefree summer days behind us and the routine of work sets in and the fall months approach. I am challenging every leader to declare an Armistice Day at work in the fall of 2010. To focus attention to the increasing rate of violence in the workplace and respond to acts of acts of workplace war such as sexual, physical and verbal assaults and yes cases of murder, on the rise at work. There are many forms of workplace war and the casualties at work continue to cost insurance companies billions of dollars annually. Some casualties of war at work are not acknowledged except when it impacts the company bottom. Some of the subtle acts of war are bullying, harassment, verbal threats, rumours, gossips, isolation, defamation, and over work. The impact of these acts of violence is no less than that of the soldier under enemy fire, the cruelty in this instance is that the victims (employees) are usually unarmed and ill prepared for this kind of war.
This year I am leading a 10 week drive to increase peace at work and would love to hear from you on your experience of creating peace in your workplace. We are providing resources, tips, tools and inspiration to help you increase your peace at work. Join us at www.peaceatworkday.com