Do you smoke?

If yes, you’d better quit it.

If no, congratulation!

You can live at least 10 years longer than those smokers according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Really?

 

 

Even if you don’t smoke, you must have experienced in smoking second-hand smoke.

Since 1964, approximately 2,500,000 nonsmokers have died from

health problems caused by exposure to second-hand smoke.

 

    The toxic effects of racial discrimination at work, like second-hand smoke, can affect third-party bystanders — ambient racial discrimination. It includes a range of workplace experiences, such as directly witnessing racial discrimination aimed at others, hearing about racist incidents, seeing graffiti or nooses at work, and hearing racist jokes, comments, and e-mails (Ragins et al. 2017). This kind of ambient racial discrimination has negative effects on employees of all races. Those exposed to racial discrimination in their workplace were more likely to (Ragins et al. 2017):

  • Report physical symptoms of stress at work, such as upset stomach, shortness of breath, heart palpitations, and hand tremors.
  • Experience insomnia and had more stress-related absenteeism than those not exposed to ambient discrimination.
  • Affect employees’ organizational commitment.

 

What can organizations and managers do?

 

The authors suggest a solution of high-quality mentoring relationships which means (Ragins et al. 2017):

  • Close relationships characterized by trust, disclosure, and commitment.
  • Step down from the pedestal of power and recognizes that the relationship can be a two-way street for sharing, learning, and personal growth
  • Allow employees to share their concerns, fears, and weaknesses and move the relationship to a deeper level of closeness, trust, and commitment.

 

 

Be the captain, not the Yoda!

 

Citation:

Ragins, Belle Rose, Kyle Ehrhardt, Karen S. Lyness, Dianne Murphy and John Capman. 2017. “Like second-hand smoke, racial discrimination at work can affect bystanders.” LSE Buisness Review.

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