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Bad bosses and the work environment

Looking at how bad interactions between employees and supervisors can lead to low employee performance and decreased morale.

Healthy human interaction is imperative for a healthy and productive work environment. This step discusses how interaction among employees and supervisors can lead to low employee performance, decrease morale, and consequently cause a high turnover of staff members.

Mary Abbajay reports that even though companies spend billions of dollars on training for company managers and supervisors, a recent study found 56% of workers claim their boss is mildly to highly toxic. In fact, in another study by the American Psychological Association, 75% of American workers reported that their boss was the most stressful part of their workday and more than 90% of adults experience some type of workplace abuse during their careers.

The larger the company, the more likely verbal abuse is to occur. Verbal abuse, which is intended to harm the target (e.g., employee), includes profanity and hostile remarks concerning competence, gossip, and rumors. Such a corporate culture is obviously undesirable, and companies need to be especially aware of this because this atmosphere will hinder employee performance, decrease morale, and consequently cause a high turnover of staff members.

In addition to the aforementioned negative effects, having a bad boss is also shown to increase chronic stress, which in turn, increases people’s chances of experiencing disorders such as anxiety, depression, and panic disorder. Studies have found that three out of four doctor’s visits are because of stress-related ailments or complaints and that young employees with stressful jobs are twice as likely to develop anxiety or depression.

A Gallup report found that one in two employees have left a job to get away from a manager. While leaving a job seems a logical solution to escape the bad environment, surprisingly, another recent study done by Life Meets Work found that employees end up working longer for toxic bosses than for nontoxic bosses! Many reasons were cited for this, including thinking that things will get better and having a personal investment in the work.

Nowadays, the most talked-about topic relating to employee interaction is the treatment of women (and to a lesser degree, men) in the workplace. This topic has been fueled in large part due to the #MeToo movement. The MeToo movement originally started in 2006 as a grassroots campaign to help women of color in low-income communities heal from sexual assault.

However, in 2017 the movement spread rapidly as #MeToo spread on Twitter after women accused Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein of sexual assault. Victims of sexual harassment were encouraged to tweet about it to show how widespread the problem was, causing the movement to go viral. Having brought this issue to the forefront, companies are now confronting the issue and are being held accountable for upholding laws and policies prohibiting sexual harassment. While no company would approve of sexual harassment in the workplace, many companies simply chose to ignore the fact that it happened frequently. The #MeToo movement has been instrumental in changing how women are viewed and treated in the workplace and it will continue to demand better environments for all workers. It is discussed further in Weeks 3 and 4 of this course.

An army is only as strong as its soldiers and in the case of fashion, even a fantastic product may fail if the company morale is low. Creating healthy and positive manners of communication can be the difference between a company’s success and failure.

The physical workspace is another issue that affects employee morale and corporate culture, and influences job satisfaction and productivity.

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Business and Workplace Ethics in the Fashion Industry

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