Impact of Workplace War

March 31, 2011

By Joyce Odidison

March 31, 2011

By Joyce Odidison

Would it shock you to learn that some people fight wars everyday and their job description is not that of a soldier? What if by reading this article you see yourself, your co-worker or your loved one’s reality?

The dictionary describes war as: an organized violent conflict engaged in by two or more separate social entities with the sole purpose of domination, part of which includes eradication of the other. Psychological attempts to dominate another are often described as bullying. These are often manifested as negative competition, contention, inappropriate comparisons, hostile criticism and isolation.

Though we are often saddened by thoughts of soldiers going away to war, many families surrender their loved ones to the battlefield of work daily, without the slightest idea of what they have to endure. One manager was heard referring to his employees as a herd of cattle. Imagine being one of his direct reports. The pain of those enduring abuse at work in whatever form, be it harassment, discrimination, or bullying, is just as acute as those in physical battle.

I very often encounter individuals in the workplace whose motives and actions are orchestrated for the sole purpose of dominating or eradicating a colleague. These acts of psychological harassment are as emotionally destructive as physical combat. They create anxiety, stress, and illnesses in all forms. Researchers are beginning to draw a correlation between the increasing growth of mental health diseases in the employed population and these war-like experiences at work.

War-like experiences have a rippling effect on employees, creating a long term negative impact on the social and economic reality of families and communities. Those who are away on stress or sick leave are incapable of contributing to their families and communities, leaving a void that is both social and economical.

The cost of these acts is devastating to our health and economy, resulting in billions of dollars of lost productivity annually. They are also contributing to the rising cost of health care, employee benefits and insurance.

Very often those affected by violence at work resign their positions, down grade their employment, or relocate in order to leave the intolerable work situation. Because people’s lives function as a system of interrelated parts, we know that this does impact other areas of their life wellness. Some areas often overlooked are their spiritual wellness, intellectual wellness, social wellness, environmental wellness and emotional wellness. With this many impact, it is time to declare peace at work.

I am contributing my time and energy over the next two months to declaring peace at work. What if all of us focus on peace and fewer of us think of war and war-like acts? I believe if you join me in this endeavour we will be successful in increasing peace at work. Join us at

About the author

Joyce Odidison is a Conflict Analyst, Speaker, Author, thought leader, and the world’s leading expert on the Wellness Competency Alignment concept to improve and measure wellness behaviours in organizations. Joyce is President & CEO of Interpersonal Wellness Services Inc. for over 25. She is Founder of the Global Workplace Wellness Summit and What’s Happening at Work podcast. Joyce is the author of six books. She has Founded and leads Coach Velocity School of Coaching, an approved program by the International Coach Federation (ICF). She is the Publisher of Faces of Workplace Wellness Magazine. Joyce is a C-Suite level workplace wellness expert and corporate trainer driving inclusive workplace wellness strategies for organizations globally. She can be reached at phone 1 877 999-9591

Never miss a good story!

 Subscribe to our newsletter to keep up with the latest trends!