Query
Is it really common to use abusive words in a company? At present I am working in a manufacturing company where almost everyone uses abusive words. Even the MD who is well educated also uses abusive words. It has become a way of culture and no one raises objection to it. As a HR professional I find it really offensive. I come from a family where no one uses abusive words. How to stop this culture in the office because any new employee will not bear use of abusive words.?
Anonymous

1st August 2013 From India, Mumbai

PARTICIPATING IN DISCUSSION:
Umakanthan53
Labour Law & Hr Consultant
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Freelancer
HR_S.Sarkar
Head - Hr & Admin
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+3 Others

Anonymous 
Nowadays many people in big corporate offices think it is cool to use abusive words. They are used by both male as well as female employees. Do you think it has become acceptable?
1st August 2013 From India, Mumbai
Use of abusive words is not at all common in Organizations. It is not acceptable in any case. Use of abusive words spoils the professional environment in any Company. It may create hindrance in expansion of business worldwide. It could be a major reason for attrition.
Hence, I would advise you to discuss about this with the top management and revise the HR Policy with strict rules to make a healthy working environment. This should be implemented throughout the Organization and even top management people have to abide by this rule.
Now, it\'s your first responsibility to convince the top management people about this.
1st August 2013 From India, New Delhi
When using abusive language is construed as misconduct in standing orders or service rules of organisations, it cannot be acceptable as routine communication among employees. It is a culture issue and reflects the culture prevailing in the organisation.It is the senior leadership that is responsible for initiating or spreading any culture in the organisation.Therefore the initiative to change all this shall come from the top.There shall be education through workshops on manners and etiquette and behaviour with which the senior leadership shall be associated so that people at lower down the heirarchy take change seriously.Then you need to intrduce some practices that reflect courteous behaviour as seding thank you mail to the others etc.
B.Saikumar

1st August 2013 From India, Mumbai
In the organization where I work our Director uses the most abusive language especially to describe a very critical situation. This happens almost every day. And there are a few who think it very wise and feel it enhances their greatness in using these words.
Politeness and proper language must be used everywhere. There is no trend of using bad language even when stuck in the most difficult situation. Abusing does not solve.
I suggest, purchase a white board of a decent size and nail it at a place prominent for everyone to pass it daily. Make it a point to write good quotes for improving upon the manner and method of behavior of people in general. Shoot e-mails to all with good moral stories and enhance the self-thinking values of the staff.
I am sure it will work and you will see positive results very soon.
All the Best.
2nd August 2013 From Tanzania, Dar Es Salaam
Hello,

Like other members mentioned, it's ABSOLUTELY not acceptable in any corporate environment, irrespective of the sector/domain.

And again like others mentioned, start from the TOP. And pl be ready for the long haul--such matters CAN'T be solved overnight.

First pl check what the Standing Orders/Service Rules of your Company say reg such behaviour. Usually these aspects are well-covered.

Next suggest collect some case-studies or Articles about the damage such behaviour can do Organizations & mail/send to your MD--the idea being to SLOWLY begin the change in him. Then you can discuss with him on how to take it further within the Organization--step-by-step.

If your company's Standing Orders/Service Rules do mention this aspect, raise it with him--suggest DELETE them, since anyway it's not being followed. Usually such a drastic suggestion will force anyone to THINK.

But IF your MD vetoes your suggestions, I think you are hitting th wall--MAYBE it's NOT worth your effort. Either you need to adjust [which has the downside of even you DEVELOPING such a habit/culture over a period of time--meaning you need to be on the guard all the time even while dealing with such people and YET not getting embroiled into it yourself] or if you can't just take it anymore, look for other opportunities.

All the Best.

Rgds,

TS
3rd August 2013 From India, Hyderabad
Dear All,
Changing a professional working environment is a difficult task but everything has a good and a bad side. As I said earlier about changing work environment, it also has a good aspect and that is the sense of competition and eagerness for achieving something. Make it your armour. Find the workers who mostly use abusive language and on the other side find the ones who uses them least. Start appreciating the one who don't use such language in a common gathering or meeting. This will bring a feeling of competition in the employees and would help in improving the environment. But you have to be very careful as it can also have repugnant effect so you have to be very tactful and creative. All the best.
3rd August 2013 From India, Mumbai
Using abusive language in the office is definitely not right and desirable. Use of such language only speaks volumes on the very culture of such individuals. I feel no HR manager should ever agree to such usage and must bring in corrective measures, to maintain a healthy progress. In this case since you say that your MD himself is using abusive words, it is most disgusting and undesirable. What would happen if he uses such terminologies to a customer ? Try to bring in a good work culture and if things still do not improve, look for better pastures. There is always a slot for good material out there. Wish you the very best
3rd August 2013
Dear anonymous and other contributors,

The practice of using abusive language from top to floor level in that particular organisation reminds me of the Sanskrit adage " YATAA RAAJA TATAA PRAJA "! In small business establishments like shops, restaurants, workshops and the like we find most of the proprietors using abusive language whenever they find slackness in their employees and openly justify it on the grounds that such bitter treatment they received from their mentors during their formative years made them what today they are and their harshness alone can instill the sense of fear in the minds of the employees not to make mistakes.Anyway, it is reminiscent of their origins.But in a corporate enterprise, such a sordid practice is adopted unabashedly even by the chief-executive is something unheard of. May be such a CEO is a person of rags to riches quite unable to forget his lowly origin and reflects his inability in the form of abusive language when things go contrary to his expectations. An anecdote from Birbal's life in this connection: During an informal morning chat with his courtiers after the royal duties, emperor Akbar suddenly slapped Birbal who was next to him for no apparent reason other than testing his reflex response.Birbal's natural reflex system urged him to return the blow; however how can he do it when the doer is the emperor? So he slapped the gentleman next to him.The entire court as well as the man got slapped stood in astonishment for they could not find any rhyme or reason in both of their actions but suspected something is there and decided that if get slapped, simply to slap the next without asking the person who slapped.That way the slap started continuing with domino effect through out the kingdom and finally the same night during their maha cuddly mood in the bedchamber, the Queen suddenly slapped Akbar the Great straight in to his face! Yelling in pain, Akber asked the reason for the slap and the Queen replied that it is all in the game for a game is a game. Up on his insistence the Queen explained that there was a rumour through out the country that a great game has started in the court that morning and the strict rule is that one cannnot hit the person back when slapped but find some one else to slap and in continuation of the game someone slapped her and hence finally his slap had come back to him through her.So, the moral is what you sow in the wind, you will reap in the whirlwind. Try the suggestions given by the members.Still not possible, you seek for an organization of educated people.Education is entirely different from literacy.
3rd August 2013 From India, Salem
A fantastic anecdote by you Mr.Umakanthan to say you get back what you give and therefore sow the seeds of rigt culture. This succinctly sums up the issue. Thanks for sharing this slap game.
B.Saikumar

4th August 2013 From India, Mumbai

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