Recruiters these days rely heavily on submitted resumes as it provides them with useful information of the candidate especially on their relevant work experience which could either be from internships, volunteer work, or actual job experience. In order to determine if a candidate is the right fit, employers look for practical work experience relevant to the job. It has become extremely competitive in the labour market as even your friends whom you studied with become your competitor when looking for a job. Therefore, as an undergraduate, the best way to stand out from the competition is to perform well in an internship with a reputable company.
On rare occasions, some undergraduates are subjected to abuse by their employers. It may happen in various forms at the workplace such as verbal and non-verbal abuse, working over-time without pay or even sexual abuse.
(Chong, 2015) newspaper article proved that even in modern times, workplace abuse still exists. The article clearly shows the IT company manager punching and hitting an intern for failing to complete a task as was instructed. As a result, the interns feel inferior to their superiors and are afraid to speak up. A research suggests that “To call something bullying the person (or persons) confronted has to experience a feeling of inferiority in defending himself or herself in the situation. (Jennifer, Cowie, & Ananiadou, 2003)’’.
The main problem for interns is workplace abuse. The most common type of workplace abuse happens when interns are verbally or nonverbally abused by their superiors. This is a concern as these interns are attached to a company to gain knowledge and experience and not to be taken advantage of.
Objective of study
The purpose of this study is to raise awareness to everyone especially interns, that workplace abuse exists. Choosing the appropriate communication skills and problem-solving techniques when interacting with their peers in the workplace can overcome this problem. This study is done to provide interns with a various technique which are best suited for them when facing a potential conflict in the workplace.
There are many ways a distressed intern can reduce tensions and conflict at the workplace. One good method would be using Daniel Goleman’s approach to “self-awareness” and “self-regulation” (Goleman, 2015). Being able to see the big picture allows you to make the best decision when facing such conflict. It allows you to step back and emotionally unplugging from the situation to increase awareness. Being self-regulated also helps you not to be a slave to their own emotions and impulses. Hence, adopting this strategy would make the intern adapt to changes quickly and making him or her a more thoughtful and reflective individual.
Another method is the Thomas-Kilmann conflict mode instrument (TKI). It teaches that by “Compromising”, both the superior and the intern can come to an agreeable solution. This way both parties’ benefits which end with a win-win situation. This method also teaches about “Cooperating” as well. Both the intern and the superior must be open and flexible. They need hear each other out to compromise. (Thomas & Kilmann, n.d.)
Data Collection/Research methods
The group have done research based on workplace abuse. These research materials that the group used were from newspaper articles, websites relating to workplace abuse and scholarly journals.
We must acknowledge that workplace abuse exists and is nearly quite impossible to eliminate. The reason for this may be being the superiors having a higher power over their subordinates. It is quite common for the subordinates like the interns to feel inferior towards their superiors as they do not have the power to fight back. However, workplace abuse can be avoided by using the techniques learnt from Daniel Goleman and TKI. With this, interns can react quickly and reduce the tension when faced with a potential conflict. Hence, making a more enjoyable experience for the interns to learn in a workplace.
Chong, E. (2015). Abusive boss caught on video admits assaulting. Retrieved from http://www.straitstimes.com/singapore/abusive-boss-caught-on-video-admits-to-assault
Goleman, D. (2015). How self-awareness impacts your work. Retrieved from http://www.danielgoleman.info/daniel-goleman-how-self-awareness-impacts-your-work/
Goleman, D. (2015). Self-regulation a star leader’s secret weapon. Retrieved from http://www.danielgoleman.info/daniel-goleman-self-regulation-a-star-leaders-secret-weapon/
Jennifer, D., Cowie, H., & Ananiadou, K. (2003). Perceptions and experience of workplace bullying in five different working populations. Retrieved from http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/ab.10055/pdf
Thomas, K. & Kilmann, R. (n.d.). An overview of the Thomas-Kilmann conflict mode instrument (TKI). Retrieved from http://www.kilmanndiagnostics.com/overview-thomas-kilmann-conflict-mode-instrument-tki
(Edited on 28/7/17)