Workplace stress is a big problem for men and women all over the United States. At least two-thirds of people around the country say that the stress they experience at work has an impact on their lives. About one-quarter of all workers in the country have admitted to taking a “mental health day” or called in sick to work to deal with the stress burnout symptoms they are experiencing. Nearly one million people call in sick every day to help them cope with the stress they experience at their jobs. If you own or manage a business, you may find that all of this stress can lead to angry outbursts and may not be sure how to handle anger in the workplace. Here are some things you can do to lower the anger temperature in your workplace:
- There are places where certain behavior is tolerated, make your business culture one of pure professionalism. There are workplaces where outbursts are seen as just part of the culture. As the owner or manager of a business, you have to set the tone. Creative a work environment that does not permit certain kinds of behaviors can make a real difference and determine how your workers act around each other. It is imperative that you support it when your workers communicate with each other in a respectful and professional manner. If you are finding yourself having to worry about how to handle anger in the workplace, you may want so to have training sessions to help the people who work for you communicate in a more effective way. This may be something you have to do if you are new to running or owning the business.
- Let your staff know what you expect. It is easy for some business owners and managers to assume that their workers will act a certain way. The problem with that approach is that not everyone has had the same experiences at work. Some may come from other businesses or industries where angry outbursts are tolerated, if not encouraged. Take the time to let the people who work for you know what you expect from them in terms of how they behave at work.
- Provide training for how to handle anger in the workplace. Part of managing anger in the workplace is training your people how to react when they see it in action. If someone is feeling as if they are being threatened by a coworker, they need to know what they should do and where they should go for help. Whether that is to you or the human resources department, there needs to be a policy in place for this.
- Do not ignore bad behavior. When someone does something that is inappropriate in the workforce, a lot of managers and business owners will take the position that if they do not acknowledge it, it is not really happening. That is the worst thing you can do. First of all, if someone comes from another business or industry where their bad behavior was deemed ok, they may not know they are doing anything wrong. In the second place, one person’s bad behavior can have an impact on the morale of your entire workforce. When you are thinking about how to handle anger in the workplace, ignoring it is not an option.
- Implement a policy that does not permit temper tantrums. Schools have “zero tolerance” policies for drugs and violence and you should put one in place for angry outbursts. Whether a worker is threatening physical violence, which should never be allowed, or is just acting like a bully, you need to let your workers know that these actions are not allowed in your business. If they threaten or bully other workers, they should know that they will face criminal charges for violent acts and dismissal for bullying or yelling at other people in your workforce.
The question of how to handle anger in the workplace is not at all an easy one. Situations may come up where people are angry. You need to provide guidance and training if needed, so they express it in non-threatening ways.