Here in America, it should come as no surprise that in survey data released by the American Psychological Association earlier this fall, “52 percent of American adults report[ed] that the 2016 election is a very or somewhat significant source of stress,” with the figures cutting fairly evenly across political lines. Many of these stressors and anxieties have continued in terms of the post-election aftermath and the evolving transition in Washington D.C.
Under such distracting (and, for some of us, distressing) circumstances, it can be hard to turn our attention back to the tasks at hand, which for many readers of this blog include preventing, stopping, and responding to bullying, mobbing, and abuse in the workplace. But that we must. As I see it, our basic agenda as we head into 2017 holds steady:
- Engaging in public education about abusive work behaviors;
- Educating and persuading employers and other employee relations stakeholders about the destructive effects of abusive work environments and the importance of effective prevention and response;
- Expanding the pool of mental health providers who are competent and knowledgeable to assist targets of bullying and mobbing at work; and,
- Enacting legal protections such as the Healthy Workplace Bill to provide targets with a legal claim for damages and to incentivize employers to take these behaviors seriously, as well as building a stronger safety net of public and private employee benefits to help those transitioning out of toxic workplaces.
And so the work goes on, fueled by a continuing recognition that building workplaces that value and practice dignity will benefit us all.