Healthcare and Medicine Reference
In-Depth Information
CHAPTER 1
The Serious Problems in the
American Workplace
INTRODUCTION
This is a book about what goes wrong on the job and what can be done to
right it. It is written for workers, human resource managers, middle man-
agers, and therapists specializing in work-related problems. Both authors are
social work educators who have extensive managerial experience. We write
this topic because of our concern that work is becoming a joyless, stressful,
and oppressive experience for too many workers and managers. This chap-
ter provides data about job unhappiness and burnout that should be a
wakeup call to organizations that think workers are in an endless supply and
are unconcerned with the costs associated with finding, training, and keep-
ing new workers.
As both managers and employees, we are sensitive to both populations
and strive to make the topic as applicable and useful as we can. We are
also therapists and will provide information we trust you will find helpful
in dealing with work-related problems that increasingly affect many
workplaces in the midst of a down economy that places extra pressure on
everyone to work harder and longer and to receive less in return.
To make this task easier for you, the reader, we will include the latest
research, give real experiences of others dealing with problems in the work-
place, and offer suggestions and solutions we hope you will find of value.
And we will cover a number of work-related problems in the topic, includ-
ing worker burnout, job dissatisfaction and low morale, unemployment and
under-employment, harassment and bias toward women and minorities,
workplace violence, workers who are work-addicted, and many others.
THE LANDSCAPE OF WORK IN THE CURRENT ECONOMY
The economic climate in the United States is in its worst condition
since the Great Depression. Although the official unemployment rate
at the end of December, 2011 was 8.5%, a Gallup poll (Jan. 5, 2012)
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