Employees should have a right to dignity at work.

An employee without dignity
What do they feel like if they don’t have dignity? Professor David Yamada tackles this issue in his blog post “On the nature of dignitary harm – and its revolutionary potential.”

Yamada quotes Dr. Donna Hicks, author of the book Dignity: The Essential Role It Plays in Resolving Conflict, to capture what a violation of dignity does to someone:

We feel injuries to our dignity at the core of our being. They are a threat to the very existence of who we are. Worse, the perpetrators get away with harming us. And the injuries usually go unattended.

There is no 911 call for when we feel that we have been humiliated, excluded, dismissed, treated unfairly, or belittled. Neuroscientists have found that a psychological injury such as being excluded stimulates the same part of the brain as a physical wound. . . .

. . . What exactly gets injured? Our dignity. The painful effects of the wounds to our dignity are not imaginary. They linger, often accumulating, one on top of the other, until one day we erupt in a rage or sink into depression, or we quit our job, get a divorce, or foment a revolution.

An employee with dignity
The opposite of a person without dignity is one who feels empowered, part of a team, listened to, and treated fairly. We’re talking about happier, healthier, and more productive workforces simply from treating employees with dignity. Sounds like a more profitable organization, doesn’t it?

Debra Falzoi is the founder of Dignity Together. She boosts employees outside of work and teaches their employers what it means to create and maintain a safe and healthy workplace. She built a base of more than 16,000 workplace abuse legislation supporters, the largest by state in the nation. She's helped hundreds of abused employees understand their abuse situations, discover their self-worth, and learn how to move on from their toxic work cultures. She's been quoted in numerous media outlets including Redbook, Forbes, Monster, Alternet, Elephant Journal, Thrive Global, and Truthout, serves on the board of the National Workplace Bullying Coalition, and hosts the "Screw the Hierarchy" podcast. http://www.dignitytogether.org

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