A new study on workplace rudeness reveals the damage that employers can wreak on an employee’s health and sense of belonging by treating them unfairly.
The study, involving researchers from the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE), shows that persistent rudeness from a person in power towards an employee has far-reaching effects in particular. These include feeling devalued, not wanted, insecure and depressed.
Researcher Dr Tara Reich from LSE’s Department of Management said these feelings are intensified when the rudeness comes from a supervisor or manager, rather than a colleague or fellow worker.
The research, published in the Journal of Organizational Behaviour, notes: “When someone in power treats a person unfairly, that employee is likely to believe that he or she holds less value to the organisation.”
“Employees place a higher importance on the opinions of the powerful. They become insecure, avoid their co-workers and the quality of their work may also suffer.”
Those targeted feel embarrassed and isolated, similar to the feelings associated with workplace bullying, the researchers say.
Nearly 60 people were surveyed for the three-month study.