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Work Rage: Identify the Problems, Implement the Solutions
Ottawa, April 1999: Four transit workers fatally shot, two others critically wounded by a former co-worker, who then commits suicide. In the U.S., workplace violence by postal workers has become common enough to inspire its own colloquialism -- "He went 'postal'" -- meaning the person became very angry or behaved violently.In this era of downsizing,...
Ottawa, April 1999: Four transit workers fatally shot, two others critically wounded by a former co-worker, who then commits suicide. In the U.S., workplace violence by postal workers has become common enough to inspire its own colloquialism -- "He went 'postal'" -- meaning the person became very angry or behaved violently.In this era of downsizing, restructuring, instant technology shifts and relentless stress and change, rage in the workplace is on the rise. Despite the Ottawa tragedy, Canadian workers may think they are insulated from the problem, compared to their American colleagues, who experience three work-related homicides every day of the year. Yet a study by the International Labor Organization in Geneva found that Canadians are actually more likely to be assaulted in their workplace than Americans.In a groundbreaking look at the issues and answers concerning workplace rage, Gerry Smith, who is director of the Trauma Response Team for a prominent Canadian company specializing in employee assistance issues, probes the roots of rage in the workplace. He shows that employee stress is only one factor, and also considers corporate culture and its level of tolerance for harassment or confrontational behaviour. Through numerous case studies and anecdotes, he looks at the spectrum of workplace rage, which can include everything from armed robbery to leaving offensive messages, from equipment sabotage to bullying. He describes actual and possible perpetrators, in trying to draw typical profiles of those most likely to react aggressively or violently. And he offers solutions for employers and employees, citing practical strategies for prevention and crisis response to actualviolent situations.A book for human resources professionals, managers, social workers and business school teachers -- as well as any employee who has ever been concerned about their own work environment -- Work Rage is a timely, thoughtful and thorough look at an increasingly frightening issue.
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