On Monday, the RAND Corporation released the first-ever American Working Conditions Survey (AWCS), and the results reveal a bleak state of affairs for those employed in the United States.
Many AWCS respondents reported working under strenuous conditions and impossible deadlines in roles that offer little room for advancement, hurt personal relationships, and rarely line up with anyone’s idea of a “dream job.” But here’s what stood out to us most:
That’s right: “more than half of Americans report exposure to unpleasant and potentially hazardous working conditions” while “nearly one in five workers—a ‘disturbingly high’ fraction—say they face a hostile or threatening social environment at work.”
This is why companies need to take workforce compliance seriously. We’re not talking about checking off boxes or merely making sure your fire extinguisher is the right color. This is a matter of human safety and well-being. In a compliant organization, people don’t fear for their lives or come into work expecting hostility from their managers and co-workers.
Unsafe working conditions, discrimination, and other kinds of non-compliance aren’t just unlawful—they’re wrong. Until every employer understands that, we all have a lot more work to do.
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