Workplace Hostility On The Rise

A global outplacement firm says the weak economy has led many employees to prize security over job satisfaction. Long-held frustrations are starting to boil over.

A tight job market, stagnating wages and less upward mobility is a recipe for tension in any workplace. John Challenger, CEO of Challenger, Gray and Christmas, says that a lot of workers feel trapped.

“In that kind of environment, animosity between coworkers because of personality conflicts or different work styles, competition, results in a wide variety of problems. Certainly it means lost productivity, increased hostility, bullying, incivility. Unresolved conflict could lead to violence.”

Challenger says workplace hostility is getting worse. He adds that with the job market starting to improve, businesses could see disgruntled employees flooding out the door. He points to a recent study by Johns Hopkins University and the University of Baltimore on the effect of workplace incivility on employees. The study found that 70% of those who witnessed hostility in the workplace contemplated changing jobs.

Bio photo of Andrew Schneider

Andrew Schneider

Business Reporter

Andrew Schneider joined KUHF in January 2011, after more than a decade as a print reporter for The Kiplinger Letter...