Interpersonal conflict and uncivil behaviour, such as bullying and harassment, are remarkably common in the workplace. The persistence of such serious incidents highlights that ‘workplace incivility’ is a major HR issue. Incivility at work has negative consequences for employees, teams and organisations. It negatively impacts the attitudes, behaviour and health of staff, notably leading to higher levels of anxiety and depression, reduced self-esteem and performance, and increased absenteeism and turnover. It is vital that employers are equipped to understand where such behaviour stems from and how to prevent it.
The map might be correct, but that doesn’t mean it will work.
The sign might be legal, but that doesn’t mean it’s going to be effective.
We’re surrounded by instruction manuals, videos, announcements and all sorts of other forms of instruction.
But a map only works if it helps.
At Joseph Rowntree Foundation we’ve been doing a lot of thinking about the work we want to do over the next year. We’ll be talking more in due course about the overall programme, but today I want to share some reflections on the concept of social imagination, and how we can grow our collective ability to imagine a future that is both environmentally and socially just. Social imagination, or collective imagination, is a nascent field of work, and we are beginning to scope out what role JRF might play alongside others in nurturing and growing this field, as part of the Emerging Futures work I’m heading up. We’re looking for partners and fellow travellers, so if you read this and want to be more involved, we’d love to hear from you.
The landscape in which JRF does its work to tackle poverty is shifting. A decade or more of rising inequality, flatlining wages, profound changes to the housing market, ageing populations and increased precarity all call for fresh perspectives on what is needed to solve poverty. And indeed the next decade is likely to see even more dramatic shifts in that landscape, thanks to the global effort to address rising temperatures.
In recognition of World Social Work Month, I am making two of my e- courses available free of charge: Promoting Employee Wellness (https://bit.ly/promotingemployeewellness) and How to Lead a Team Under Immense Pressure (https://bit.ly/immensepressure). In addition, I am making my The Social Work Finishing School course available at half price. Information about the course is at www.SocialWorkFinishing.School and you can sign up at bit.ly/finishingschool50, using WSWM as the discount code. (Only valid until 1st April 2022)
In many aspects of the people professions we are called upon to assess situations, weigh them up as part of making a decision as to how to deal with them. This is skilful work that can be helped by having a good working knowledge base around people (about motivation, for example). But what is not helpful is the tendency to rely on untested assumptions. At one extreme, this can amount to relying on stereotypes, crude caricatures that present a heavily distorted picture. But we can also encounter more subtle distortions, mainly based on the assumption that other people see the world the way we do. For example, something we see as simple and straightforward may be quite scary and disconcerting to someone else. It is therefore important that we make the effort to develop a more holistic picture, taking account of other people’s perspectives and checking things out where necessary rather than taking things for granted and potentially producing an inaccurate and unhelpful picture of the situation.
Experts have welcomed an update to Acas’s bereavement guidance to better reflect the rules around leave entitlements for employees who have lost children or experienced a stillbirth. The new guidance from the government’s arbitration service now outlines the statutory maternity and paternity leave rules for parents who have lost a pregnancy after 24 weeks, and has also been updated to include the parental bereavement leave entitlement introduced in 2020. Acas’s bereavement guidance also includes new resources for supporting staff who have suffered Covid-related bereavements.
Over a third of LGBTQ+ people still feel they have to hide who they are at work. This means they have to watch what they say, what they do, and where they apply. It’s crucial that LGBTQ+ people have the same opportunities as everyone else to unlock their potential in their career, and YOU can play a part by creating safe spaces in which everyone can thrive. Here’s how you can help make a welcoming environment at your workplace, which in turn will lead to a healthier, and more innovative and open culture for all!
On 6 October, the UK Government took £20 a week from the pockets of six million low-income families, cutting their incomes by up to a fifth as the cost of living is set to soar. This was the biggest overnight cut to social welfare since World War II and could see 1.2m people across the UK having to skip meals just to get by. Food banks will continue doing all they can to help people struggling to afford the essentials, but no charity can replace the dignity of having enough money to buy your own food.