Employees Reveal Grief of Mal-treatment by Organization

Last week my benevolent organization felt that there was a need to create the perception that it really cared about the emotional and physical well being of the employees. You see, we had lost two co-workers due to sudden death within one month of each other. It was assumed that this was a devastating occurrence since this had never occurred (two deaths within the same department so close together; two who had seemed to all appearances healthy).

A team of two grief counselors were sent to help us to express our emotions regarding the two sudden deaths. During the small group (13 employees in each group) sessions what was revealed was that the majority of those grieving were not grieving over the deaths of their co workers but instead, over the working conditions they were suffering under and the bullying by some of their supervisors.

The grief counselors were so overwhelmed with the sadness and depression they were not prepared for the level or depths of these emotions. Now, comes the embarrassment by the organization who were given the general consensus of the workers: the organizational morale of its employees was in the toilet and on the brink of total collapse.

So, why would it take an outside consultant to simply sit for only seconds in the midst of 13 strangers, to get them to share the overwhelming grief and feelings of betrayal experienced and caused by the organization?

What the employees learned themselves was how much they all had in common in their feelings of low morale and disdain towards those who they reported to; feelings of being treated differently, targeting, discrimination due to age, disability, race, etc. There were some who were visibly distraught, some in tears, and some enraged at the behavior of those who had at one time seen them so favorable among their peers. Now, they were feeling tossed aside like an old shoe, no longer of value, and disposable.

Some said they felt their treatment by their superiors was intolerable and some were feeling retaliated against for having serious illnesses or disabilities.

Murder by Proxy, a movie that gives the untold stories of many workplace violence cases, is a documentary which tells why it often occurs. In that room, on the day the grief counselors came to help heal I felt that anyone of us could have, given the right situation become a statistic or a person portrayed in that movie.

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