Stereotyping in the Workplace in the Context of How It Benefits Employees and Its Potential Implications
Stereotype means a person has all characteristics assumed of members of the group in which he/she belongs (Fiske 2015). In other words, stereotypes promote social categorization, which leads to prejudice. Stereotype manifests in each aspect of life including the workplace. Most employees tend to be stereotypical as a way through which they can respond rapidly to situations. However, the behavior makes people ignore existing difference between them and others, which makes them think things concerning people that may not be valid; also generalizing. 2015, p. It enables one to predict, simplify, and efficiently organize their responsibilities. Assigning characteristics to different personalities allows one to lower his/her anxiety levels while enhancing self-esteem. As such, it helps individuals save time by ignoring people who they are not comfortable around.
Further, stereotype may be helpful in making a snap judgment about colleagues. Notably memory formations constitute registering, processing, storing, and retrieving information. Consequently, much attention is directed towards the most important memories. Memory guides individual attention to select and do the most relevant for development purposes (Walton, Murphy and Ryan 2015, p. Emotional intensity function to narrow down the scope of attention given to certain personalities so that a few aspects are considered when relating with others. Through these characteristics, one can be able to respond appropriately when meeting or socializing with new people for the first time. As a result, excluded individuals struggle to belong somewhere, which implies loneliness that may culminate to physical or emotional distress. On the other hand, feeling accepted comes with some comfort, where people learn to accept differences and others’ views.
As such, stereotyping in the workplace helps employees improve their thoughts, where they come to believe that there is value in everyone’s uniqueness (Walton, Murphy and Ryan 201s, p. One of the common ways of communicating acceptance in the workplace is through validation. Validation is essential in building a sense of belonging and strengthening work relationships. It is possible for group members that are stereotyped to demonstrate improvement in their performance and well-being. These characteristics are often as a result of explicit or implicit acceptance of positive stereotyping. For instance, activated positive stereotypes may help the targeted group develop new ways of coping at the workplace, which may increase their creativity and functionality that boosts their self-esteem (Walton, Murphy and Ryan 2015, p.
Work-related stereotypes that are associated with wisdom has the potential to increase memory, which may lead to happiness thus improving others' negative impression of his/her identity. Therefore, stereotyped individuals may act in ways that highlight the benefits of belonging in the particular group that helps maintain a favorable impression of their identity. 2011, p. In other words, when social power is unevenly distributed across groups, the positive stereotype may be advantageous to individuals with less power since they may seek to move up the social ladder. However, Positive stereotypes may also decrease the perception that the workplace environment is just and fair. They can reduce individuals’ motivation to engage in actions that promote changes. According to Sibley and Becker (2012), subjecting women to benevolent sexist stereotypes decreases interest to pursue change.
Employees who experience constant negative comments, criticism or performance reviews can end up losing their motivation to perform adequately (Emerson & Murphy2015, p. Decreased motivation imply low creativity and desire to achieve collective goals attribute to one spending more time lamenting over what they are always doing wrong. Further, low morale can indirectly affect the entire department since production is likely to be lowered. Loss of morale is mostly promoted by loosed focus, where stereotypical employees waste more time and resources discussing discrimination rather than doing core activities. On the other hand, the victims feel unworthy and at fault, which leads to depression that may culminate into violence and even murder caused by anger promoted by lowered self-esteem. Continued discrimination is disadvantageous as it eventually leads to the development of mistrust with increasing suspicion, resentment, and formation of circles that propagate hostility and rivalry among the workers (Fay et al.
2015, p. These elements spread toxic activities that may harm relationships, thus hindering the free flow of information that hampers the smooth functioning of the firm. Legal implication Equally, promoting an environment filled with stereotype behaviors may lead to an unwarranted legal procedure. Notably, not every employee has the ability to perceive the negative criticisms directed towards him/her in a positive manner. The stigma associated with unemployment arises from the belief that some people have bad personalities or work ethics. As a result, employers may choose to discriminate against unemployed and laid-off workers when they show their interest to work with the firm. In such cases, applicants belonging to a particular group are perceived as less fit for the specific position or company.
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