NEWS & RESOURCES

Effects of Aggression in the Workplace

New research suggests that even just witnessing aggression in the workplace can have a negative effect on individual performance.

Research carried out at Sheffield University investigated the impact of workplace factors on employee levels of depression, anxiety, and emotional exhaustion.

Dr Sprigg and her colleagues first surveyed 127 employees immediately after they had witnessed aggression at work. They then asked the employees to complete another test after a six month interval. The researchers considered aggression as anything ranging from physical violence and abuse through to more indirect forms of bullying, such as withholding information.

The study found that employees who had witnessed aggression but had a support network of co-workers or management were less depressed at the second test six months later. Management support significantly eased work-related anxiety, but the only factor that positively influenced an employee’s emotional exhaustion was support from co-workers.

Dr Sprigg said “Taken together our findings show that social support from managers and co-workers are all important moderators of the effect of witnessing workplace aggression on employees’ psychological wellbeing.”

“Our findings add to the growing body of research linking the witnessing of aggression at work with psychological ill health. They also provide an indication of those individual traits and workplace contextual factors which act as psychological buffers to ill health.”

“This suggests that positive strategies on the part of managers could limit the impact of witnessing unacceptable behaviour.”

The study reinforces certain truisms about workplace dynamics – an employee is going to be more reassured hearing about their performance from their manager rather than a co-worker, for example. However the research should underline how important it is for managers to treat incidents of aggression quickly and professionally.

SHARE THIS:

Instagram

GET IN TOUCH

Got questions? Looking for advice?

GET IN TOUCH

Got questions? Looking for advice?

RELATED RESOURCES

Explore our comprehensive library of related resources to gain valuable insights, expert tips, and helpful tools for optimising your HR practices.

01
Managing Difficult Conversations
Online Training
22 February 2024
02
Managing Conflict
Online Training
22 February 2024
03
Tools for effective performance management at all levels
News
13 February 2024

MAKE A GENERAL ENQUIRY

We’re here to assist you with any questions or enquiries you might have. Simply fill out the form below, and our dedicated team will get back to you.

REQUEST A PROPOSAL FROM US

We’re here to assist you with any questions or enquiries you might have. Simply fill out the form below, and our dedicated team will get back to you.

BOOK YOUR PLACE

Please complete the form and one of our team will call you back to discuss your query/booking.

Request your free trial

Register your details below and we will contact you about your 30 day free trial of the HR Knowledge Base.

REGISTRATION FORM

Register your details below and we will contact you about access to the HR Knowledge Base.  As part of your approved industry membership organisation you can get access to the HR Knowledge Base, created by Business HR Solutions, which is the go-to resource for thousands of business owners and managers across the UK.

2023/2024 SME BUSINESS SURVEY

Our latest 2023/24 SME Business Survey sheds light on the intricate dynamics shaping the SME sector and unveils critical insights that can guide businesses toward sustainable success.

IF YOU WISH TO PURCHASE HR ADVICE LINE TIME, PLEASE COMPLETE THE FORM BELOW.

HR Solutions are here to help. We offer a standard hourly rate package for ad hoc HR advice which means you can pay for what you need, whenever you need it, and then quickly get advice. Our highly experienced advisors are on hand to provide you with practical employment advice to help you manage your workforce.  You can purchase HR Advice Line time now, and the time purchased will be valid for 12 months.