Persistent workplace aggression is becoming an increasingly significant issue in the workplace.  But whose problem is it really?  Is it the individuals or the organizations?

Individuals are responsible for their own behavior but ultimately organizations are accountable for persistent workplace aggression. Organizations control the environment which sets the stage for what happens in the workplace, both positively and negatively. 

Organizations often blame the workers for issues rather than trying to develop an understanding of their responsibility in cultivating persistent workplace aggression.   Certainly individuals need to answer for their own behavior, but it is the organization that allows and at times, even encourages persistent workplace aggression.  

They do this in many ways.  First they often do not take allegations of persistent workplace aggression seriously nor do they develop a clear understanding of what this type of workplace violence entails.  This lack of understanding inadvertently allows workplace aggressors to get away with poor behavior and also creates an environment where mistreating one another becomes acceptable.  Thus, producing a regularly aggressive workplace.

Organizations also are responsible for maintaining their workers, including those in leadership and administrative positions.  As such, they need to ensure that the administrators who they employ know how to be a leader.  Organizations frequently do not support or teach workers how to be an effective leader.  This can lead to significant workplace problems.  Organizations typically just promote workers due to longevity and work abilities not on leadership skills.  So for example, I have exemplary social work skills, but that does not mean I have any ability to be a leader or maintain a healthy workplace.

Many times organizations do not satisfactory deal with conflict and issues go unresolved.  These can then fester out of control and create a persistent workplace environment.  Organizations must ensure that conflict and issues within the workplace are dealt with sufficiently.  This is vital no matter how long it takes for worker resolution and to show everyone that any type of workplace aggression is unacceptable. 

Organizations often fail to resolve workplace inequities, such as work assignments or workloads, which provide a solid foundation for persistent workplace aggression.  These type of workplace concerns lead workers to have feelings of resentment and animosity which many times manifest themselves as workplace violence. Organizations need to listen to worker complaints and work to create an equitable environment.

Organizations are responsible for persistent workplace aggression and there is no time like today for them to start ensuring that persistent workplace aggression stops and to start preventing workplace violence. 

If you or the organization you work for is experiencing persistent workplace aggression, please contact me at jankircher@jankircher.com or (320) 309-2360. You can also visit my website at www.jankircher.com. Help is out there.



We can see and encounter violence all around us. It does not chooses race, gender, or age. We can all be a victim of violence. It's nice that there are people who still care to manage and get rid of it, most especially when it comes to workplace aggression. Companies are made up of different kinds of people, having different kinds of temperance and attitude. The larger the company, the harder it is to maintain peace and order. It's good that you're here to guide us when it comes to these matters. More power to you!


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