The work environment in an office or firm impacts the employee’s motivation levels and productivity. If the work environment is positive and fair, productivity would increase, and job satisfaction would be greater which would increase the output level of the employees. Similarly, a negative work environment would affect productivity adversely.
Many factors contribute to making the work environment negative. These include bullying, Biased and unfair policies, egotistical leadership, communication problems and no accountability, absence of work-life balance, and low morale.
Another more sensitive and difficult to tackle form of negativity is harassment in the workplace. It is defined as the threatening and aggressive attitude towards a person or a group of people in the workplace based on their religion, gender, race, or political beliefs.
It is repeated discriminatory attitudes which cause stress and sometimes even physical harm to the targeted group or individual. There is a wide range of attitudes that come under harassment. Two major classifications would be physical abuse and emotional abuse.
Physical abuse refers to all the situations in which an employee faces sexual abuse or physical violence. In some professions where the workers have to deal with criminals as clients, a very high rate of homicides has also been reported. Physical abuse from co-workers is mostly in the form of shoving or pushing or unwanted touch and in some extreme cases rape.
Emotional abuse refers to the situations when there is bullying involved or when the employee faces mental abuse and stress due to the harassers’ actions. Emotional abuse is more difficult to detect and hence address. It may be verbal or nonverbal and is usually aimed at making a person complaint by behavioral manipulation.
It gets less attention than physical abuse although it is just as painful and difficult to bear. The most common form of emotional abuse is bullying. It ranges from hostile glares to shouting, yelling, and even ‘silent treatment’, defamation, insults, withholding information, and unnecessary work pressure aimed at failure.
Both these types are condemnable and require immediate action and intervention by the authorities as they affect the physical and mental health of the employees and degrade their quality of life. Usually, the official course of action is the issuance of a warning or termination of the perpetrator depending on the severity of the act.
[Designation] [Company name]
Subject: Termination Letter for Harassment
Respected Mr. [name],
This is to inform you that you have been found guilty of the actions blamed on you by Ms. [name] and hence the higher management has decided to terminate your employment contract with effect from [date].
Ms. [name] had registered an official complaint against you, to the Human Resource department on [date] claiming that you have harassed her multiple times over the period of two years in which she served under you as a personal secretary. Your body language was aggressive and you used meaningful language aimed at making her uncomfortable. She quoted multiple occasions with dates and witnesses who could vouch for her.
She reported that you made passes at her and when she refused to go along with your foul demands, you gave her a very heavy workload; aiming to insult and eventually fire her when she failed to meet the unrealistic deadlines.
The Management made a disciplinary committee that thoroughly investigated the case, and questioned the witnesses presented by Ms. [name]. You were given a fair chance to defend yourself and bring any witnesses you wanted, to prove your innocence. After considering all the statements and evidence the committee in their final meeting on [date], came to the conclusion that Ms. [name] is justified in her accusations and you have been taking unfair advantage of your position.
This type of unprofessional and foul attitude is not acceptable in this firm. We do not take these matters lightly and fully realize that if a fair ruling is not given in one such case, it would encourage many others to go down the same route and hence corrupt the entire office environment.
The finance department has been instructed to process your dues. A fine of [amount] would be deducted from the final amount and paid to Ms. [name]. [date] is your last working day in the office. We really hope that you would learn from this experience and change for the better in the future.
[designation] [Department name]