Angry workers venting frustration at co-workers

Nearly nine out of 10 (86%) workers regularly vent their anger and frustration at co-workers, according to research from employee assistance programme and occupational health provider Health Assured.

The survey of 992 employees found that nearly three-quarters (74%) claim that their manager regularly makes them angry by not leading the workforce effectively.

Despite the high prevalence of anger in the workplace, 79% of employers admitted they found it difficult to deal with staff who struggle to control their temper.

David Price, managing director of Health Assured, said that “personality clashes and stressful work environments can have a negative effect on personal wellbeing, particularly our emotional health. 

“Despite employers often finding it difficult to deal with an angry employee, they need to take note that aggression in the workplace will not take care of itself,” he added.

Anthony Douglas, CEO of Cafcass, told HR magazine that employers must have a wellbeing programme in place to prevent anger issues getting out of hand. “The universality of rage can easily extend into the workplace if someone on the edge feels threatened or in any way crossed,” he said.

“Generosity and forgiveness are utopian for staff and teams working under pressure. This is why wellbeing programmes are crucial, as they can foster a climate of self-control and positive teamwork.

“Without such initiatives the anger of powerful individuals in workplaces can become contagious and can lead to a toxic culture, with increases in dysfunction, avoidant behaviour, low morale, and low productivity. Wellbeing programmes are not vanity projects, they are core training modules that make sound business sense.”

The Health Assured research coincides with a report from work management software provider Workfront that found 73% of UK employees expect their stress levels at work to increase in the near future. 

The survey found that the three main causes of stress for employees are excessive workloads and competing deadlines (chosen by 60% of respondents) a lack of communication and visibility into the work done by others on your team (57%), and poor access to appropriate resources and information needed to complete work (37%).

Joe Staples, chief marketing officer at Workfront, described the findings as a “clear call to employers for help”.

“Whatever the causes of stress, more often than not there are simple steps businesses can take to streamline processes and boost efficiency, visibility, and collaboration," he said. "By helping your workforce to become less stressed you give them the freedom to shine and do what they do best.”