No, I'm not recommending that obnoxious moonbats be banned from blogging. :)
Law.com has an interesting article on the affects of negative people in the workplace and what you should do about them.
(T)wo business professors, Christine Porath and Amir Erez, whose revealing study of rudeness and its toxic effects is illuminating. They subjected two groups of study participants to varying degrees of rudeness, and they asked a third group to only imagine they were the object of the rudeness. All groups were then asked to perform tasks requiring cognitive functions. The result? In all three groups the ability of the participants to think was severely impaired. Why? They were unable to use their cognitive processing power to perform the tasks, wasting their brain wattage on mulling over and ruminating upon the rudeness, or parsing the comments and figuring out how they should have responded. This included the bystander group, asked only to empathize. Talk about collateral damage. Want to learn more? Check out "Rudeness and Its Noxious Effects" in the March issue of the Harvard Business Review.
Want more empirical evidence? Robert Sutton's book, "The No Asshole Rule: Building a Civilized Workplace and Surviving One That Isn't," is brimming with studies and experiments. Work with a rude jerk and what happens? You become one as well. It's called emotional contagion, as Dr. Michelle Duffy demonstrated in her study -- which Sutton cites -- of hospital employees working for insensitive bosses who acted like jerks and condoned it in others. The employees morphed into their bosses. It's true: We ape others, especially those higher in the food chain.
One study Sutton discusses, by British researchers Charlotte Rayner and Loraleigh Keashly, translated the effects of such uncivil and rude behavior into cold, hard cash. Historical data show that 25 percent of those bullied at work and 20 percent of those who merely witness it leave their employment (once again, bystander damage). The researchers postulate that in a company of 1,000 employees, if 25 percent leave and if the average historical replacement cost is $20,000, then the annual cost is $750,000. Tack on two witnesses per bullied employee, 20 percent of those witnesses leave, and that adds $1.2 million for, as Sutton puts it, a TCA (total cost of assholes) of close to $2 million per year.
I'm always amazed at companies that seemingly foster rudeness among their employees. That unhappy employees produce less and leave in droves seems like a "Duh!" moment to me, but there are a lot of companies where this sort of churlish and slovenly behavior is tolerated, if not encouraged.
I've gotten nasty e-mails from co-workers for asking them (politely) to fix their mistakes, as though the very act of asking them to do their jobs is offensive. And plenty of people have received abrupt memos or request for information from managers who don't even preface the request with a "Good Morning" or "Hello."
Maybe our society has just gotten so impersonal that such behavior is commonplace, but as the figures above show, being nice to your coworkers or subordinates has potential benefits while rudeness is exponentially harmful.
One of the most interesting suggestions in the article was to curb the use of e-mails and telephone calls for communication. It's much harder to be rude to someone through a device like e-mail as opposed to face-to-face. I'll have to see implement this and see what happens.