Employers Struggling to Deal with Workplace Anger Issues

In Business, Individual, Industry News by PCH Staff

Even if you love your job, there are times when you will become frustrated or stressed and that could lead to you becoming angry while at work. Whether it’s getting overlooked for a promotion; being snapped at by an unhappy customer; or simply being asked to do more work than you can cope with, anger is something that we all experience from time-to-time.

In fact, a new study by Health Assured, one of Europe’s leading EAP & occupational health providers, has revealed that a staggering proportion of people display anger while in the workplace and employers do not know how to deal with it.

The study of almost 1,000 workers found that nearly nine in 10 (86%) employees regularly vent their anger at co-workers. In addition, 74% of the study’s participants said their immediate manager regularly makes them angry.

However, perhaps most worrying of all, is the revelation that nearly four out of five (79%) bosses do not know how to deal with employee anger management issues.

Emotional Responses ‘Natural’

Talking about the results of the study, the managing director of Health Assured, David Price, said:

“Taking charge and control of emotions, particularly feelings of anger is easier said than done. While we like to present ourselves as highly adaptable and functional beings, we are all human and thus emotional responses to unexpected or stressful events are natural.

“What is unacceptable, regardless of the reason, are acts of verbal or physical aggression in the workplace. Unfortunately, it would appear that aggression in the workplace is still a prominent issue. Employers need to be fully aware of any aggressive behaviour taking place in their organisation and take immediate action to tackle it and prevent further instances.”

The findings of the Health Assured study were revealed, rather coincidentally, at the same time as a report from work management software provider Workfront.

Workfront’s report shows that 73% of UK employees expect their levels of stress at work to increase in the near future.

Furthermore, it also discovered that the three main causes of stress for employees are competing deadlines and excessive workloads (60%); a lack of communication and visibility into what other people in a team are currently working on (57%); and not enough access to resources and information needed to complete work (37%).

Productivity and Morale Both Decreased by Stress

Even more concerning for employers is the fact the Workfront study also found that 74% of employees said they feel unrecognised and un-useful at work. To address this, according to Workfront, employers need to break down silos and allow their staff to engage more freely with each other and senior managers, so that they can see how their efforts impact the wider team.

Joe Staples, Chief Marketing Officer at Workfront, said:

“UK workers are making a clear call to their employers for help regarding their current levels of stress. With stress having the potential to decrease productivity and morale, it will come as a relief to UK businesses that their employees are also indicating these factors can be quickly remedied by their employer adopting the right processes and tools across the business.”

So what can employers do to remedy the stress experienced by their staff? Well, if the Workfront study’s findings are anything to go by, employees want structures and tools to enable an effective support system (60%); more involvement in decision making and more frequent management contact (57%); and professional training on how to productive structure their work days (37%).

There are a range of products and services we can talk to clients about to help them deal with stress and other workplace related issues. Employee Assistance Programmes is one very cost effective way we can help but overall employee health and wellbeing is something we are talking to clients about on a daily basis. Investment is often low for the returns a company will see.

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