Some claim verbal abuse happening often in many workplaces

Verbal abuse in the workplace

Many believe the crude comments between Presidential nominee Donald Trump and entertainment reporter Billy Bush are nothing new.  In fact, some claim they hear this kind of talk all the time.

A number of human resources managers say verbal abuse is one of the most common complaints they get.

Presidential candidate Donald Trump's hot mic is a hot topic, but not just in the political race.

It's also being discussed in the workplace, by employers, employees and especially by Human Resources managers.

"It's not uncommon for us to receive new business from employers realizing they put themselves at risk," said David Hughen.  He's the co-founder and managing partner of Austin HR, which provides HR support services to small and mid-size companies across the country.

Trump's remarks opened the floodgates for a discussion of how conversations like this happen daily, in all kinds of workplaces.

"This is especially prevalent in companies where the boundaries haven't been set, and where senior leaders, male leaders, in this case, have set a town of allowance," Hughen said.

According to a 2014 survey by the Workplace Bullying Institute, 45 percent say they’ve been bullied or harassed at some point during their career, and another 25 percent say they’ve witnessed abusive conduct in the workplace.

Research shows bosses are still the majority of bullies.

But Hughen believes the number of those who've faced sexual and verbal abuse while at work are even higher.

"A number of people never come forward," he said.

So can an abusive workplace culture be changed?

Hughen said it can, but only with the right leaders at the helm.

"Companies that treat people with a high degree of respect, respect their differences, respect what's unique about them, actually have a strategic advantage. People want to work there," Hughen said. "We find some of the best leaders are those who have humility as one of their core values."

Hughen said it's imperative to report any verbal or physical abuse someone suffers in the workplace, and it's important for employers to take these reports seriously.

(© 2016 KVUE)


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