Workplace Hostility On The Rise

A global outplacement firm says the weak economy has led many employees to prize security over job satisfaction. Long-held frustrations are starting to boil over.


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A tight job market, stagnating wages and less upward mobility is a recipe for tension in any workplace. John Challenger, CEO of Challenger, Gray and Christmas, says that a lot of workers feel trapped.

“In that kind of environment, animosity between coworkers because of personality conflicts or different work styles, competition, results in a wide variety of problems. Certainly it means lost productivity, increased hostility, bullying, incivility. Unresolved conflict could lead to violence.”

Challenger says workplace hostility is getting worse. He adds that with the job market starting to improve, businesses could see disgruntled employees flooding out the door. He points to a recent study by Johns Hopkins University and the University of Baltimore on the effect of workplace incivility on employees. The study found that 70% of those who witnessed hostility in the workplace contemplated changing jobs.

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Andrew Schneider

Andrew Schneider

Politics and Government Reporter

Andrew heads Houston Public Media's coverage of national, state, and local elections. He also reports on major policy issues before the Texas Legislature and county and city governments across Greater Houston. Before taking up his current post, Andrew spent five years as Houston Public Media's business reporter, covering the oil...

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