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Monthly Archives

November 2013

Workplace Bullying Lessons From The Miami Dolphins

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Workplace Bullying Lessons

If you have read my previous blog post, there might have been some confusion about the difference between workplace bullying and harassment. So,what is the difference between workplace bullying and harassment? Are they the same thing? The focus seems to be on the Miami Dolphins and the football locker room culture in general. See where the lines can be drawn in my recent guest blog post at Impact Publishing.

Lesson 1. Workplace bullying and harassment are not the same thing. I’m not sure how or why this situation has sparked a lot of conversation around workplace bullying, or why the media keeps calling Incognito a bully. Actually, Incognito is a better poster-child for workplace harassment.

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Danger Of Workplace Bullying – Looking At The Miami Dolphins

By | Workplace bullying | One Comment

Miami Dolphins: What Happened?

The NFL locker room has long been considered a type of fraternity. Some of the things done, said and tolerated in the 32 locker rooms around the league would be completely unacceptable in any other workplace across the United States. Because of this, it is no surprise that a player is finally rejecting the widely accepted culture of the NFL. Jonathan Martin, a second year offensive lineman for the Miami Dolphins, took a leave of absence last week, citing personal reasons. No one really gave it much attention. However, news broke that these personal reasons were actually linked to bullying by a few of his teammates.

Fellow offensive lineman Richie Incognito has been identified as the main culprit in the case and was suspended indefinitely, after an abusive voicemail sent to Martin by Incognito leaked to the public. In the voicemail, Incognito threatens Martin’s life, spews vulgar insults and makes racist remarks. But this is the NFL, and such behavior is not typically uncommon.

Martin’s coaches and teammates had no idea what Martin was going through, which means that Martin felt that he could not voice his concerns to the people that were responsible for creating the environment. This is what Martin blames the most for his emotional distress. In recent days, Martin has said that he does not blame his teammates for the abuse that he endured, rather the culture of the NFL and the environment that was created in that Miami Dolphins locker room.

It is no surprise that several Dolphins players have come to Incognito’s defense. In their eyes, nothing out of the ordinary had been done wrong because it was in the context of an NFL locker room. That’s just the way it is. And that is exactly the problem.

Danger Of Workplace Bullying

So what’s the difference between harassment and workplace bullying? The answer is in the law. Workplace bullying and harassment are the same thing – both are meant to gain power over another person and make their work environment entirely uncomfortable. The content of the behaviors, however, is what makes all the legal difference: harassment is about protected classes, and workplace bullying is about equal opportunity.

Incognito was sending texts with racial slurs according to all of the media reports, so the racial slurs make the texts harassment and against federal law. If Incognito was sending nasty texts that did not include anything about gender, race or disability then the texts are workplace bullying, and perfectly legal.

Catherine Mattice speaks on The Washington Times regarding the danger of workplace bullying.

Employee Satisfaction & The Workplace

By | Civil & Healthy Workplaces | No Comments

Measuring Employee Satisfaction


Every good manager knows that a happy employee is a loyal and productive employee. The attitude of your employees can most likely reflect the moral of the company. Satisfaction; however, is not linked only to compensation. A raise and benefits will definitely improve your employee’s contentment, but it may only be temporary. It is the small things that can have a longer lasting effect.

Give Employees Options

Happiness is when a person feels like they have control over their life. Giving your employees the option to be more flexible with their schedule can improve employee satisfaction. For example, employers can offer flexible work schedules and even telecommuting. A customized schedule is a great way to get your employees more content with their job.

The Stress of Commuting

The U.S. Census Bureau stated that 86.5% of employees drive to work, whether it be driving alone or carpooling. Commuting stress can definitely impact one’s mentality. Having to drive during the rush-hour traffic can be very frustrating. To top it off, your employee arrives late and he or she is reprimanded severely. Imagine how the rest of their day would unravel.

One solution to this could be to have staggering work times so your employees can arrive after the heavy traffic. Having flexible time schedules can definitely take off a lot of stress and keep your employees loving where they work.

Social Interactions

People are sociable beings and interacting with others can give a boost in mood. Employers should encourage social events such as holidays and birthdays. These social events and celebrations do not need to be expensive. It’s the very act of celebrating and eating together that brings up employee satisfaction. Provide your employees with an area they can eat together.

Socializing should not stop after office hours. Organize a volunteer program where your team can work together while promoting a positive company image. Community service is one of the great ways to boost your employee’s satisfaction while benefiting the company.

Break Up The Routines

Surprises can add a spark to your life – even in the workplace. Surprise your employees with something as small as a treat, occasionally, and people will get a sense of appreciation. It’s a small gesture, but it shows you appreciate their time and efforts they put into the company.

There are many disgruntled employees complaining about the company they work for. Be the best employer you can be and prove that your workplace has the happiest employees. This extra step might even lead to a better business.