Humans are social animals and years of evolution have made us more dependent on society. It’s natural for humans to seek validation and acceptance from their peers and surroundings. And when they receive rejection or exclusion, the feeling of hurt is inevitable. But have you ever wondered how exclusion or trauma impacts people, especially the workforce?
Exclusion is one of the most toxic behaviors that are surprisingly common in corporate culture. There is at least one if not many people in a company that treats the people they work with in different manners. CEOs, managers, and colleagues’ behavior in a workplace determines how it runs.
Lack of respect, interruption, dismissal, and disregard of opinions or ideas, etc., corroborates the feeling of exclusion in an employee. A workplace should be a place where every employee’s ideas are valued. And treating everyone equally, regardless of their gender, religion or position must be a priority.
However, the modern workplace has become a spot where stress manifests like nothing else. The workforce does not get the proper treatment they deserve. And many-a-times inclusivity is an option people at higher positions tend to neglect.
The added pressure of exclusion fuels more negativity into the workforce, impacting their productivity as well as morale. It, as a consequence, develops trauma in employees which affects them in long term.
According to specialists, trauma alters the brain’s alarm system. It also produces an increase in stress hormone activity as well as weakens the area of the brain that communicates the feeling of being alive.
As the exclusionary situations start occurring frequently, the trauma starts taking a more threatening shape. The brain starts registering the person behind these frequent occurrences as “dangerous”. And it treats the experiences they have of the situations as physical injuries. Eventually, the more frequent the exclusions are, the more damaging it becomes. The toxic behavior and environment directly affect employee’s nervous systems. It then shuts down the ability of people to create and innovate.
The best way to make a workplace free of exclusion is to have an inclusive mindset. And for that to happen, one (the employer and people in higher positions) must acknowledge the fact that their behavior is toxic. They also need to understand the damage exclusion puts on the employees as well as the workplace.
Leaders must embrace all the hard work and efforts their employees put into their work. Employees’ mental health plays a vital role in a productive workplace. So, encouraging them rather than pointing fingers and victim-blaming is probably the way to go. Also, boosting their morale through activities works a lot better. Rather than taking credit for all the hard work employees put in, leaders must learn how to provide proper recognition to them.