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Workplace Intolerance as a Social Issue and How to Overcome It

Editor's Note: Take a look at our featured best practice, Conflict Management Business Toolkit (274-slide PowerPoint presentation). Introducing the Ultimate Conflict Management Business Toolkit: Unlocking Success Through Effective Conflict Resolution Are you tired of dealing with constant conflicts in your workplace? Do you wish you had a comprehensive resource that could empower you to tackle conflicts head-on and transform [read more]

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Maintaining positive human relations should be the aspiration of every human being because it helps us thrive as individuals and as a group. At work, productivity and operational flow benefit from a compact team in which every member respect and understands the rest of the crew. When there’s tolerance at the workplace, employees cover each other’s back, and they are more open to offering help with a challenging task.

What does it mean to be tolerant at the workplace? How to get a group of different characters to work together and keep their differences? These are some of the questions we’re going to touch on in this short piece of text.

Causes for Workplace Intolerance

There are different triggers for workplace intolerance, some people simply have a bad experience while others have a self-imposed opinion regarding a certain person or a group of people which is mainly based on lack of experience. The more time we spend with a certain group or individual, the more we learn and that’s the best way to start building tolerance.

Religious intolerance is one of the main reasons for issues on a global scale, let alone a workplace. There are numerous essay topics related to religious tolerance that teach us how to approach different religions properly. Working with someone who is of a different faith doesn’t jeopardize our religious integrity, on the contrary, it should help us understand that there are many other different points of view. We don’t have to celebrate religious holidays along without colleagues if we don’t share their beliefs, however, we should not think of their celebration or daily religious ritual as a provocation.

Ethnic diversity is also among the major causes of workplace intolerance. Our job often keeps us close to people we would normally not meet. Our colleagues don’t have to be our friends, nevertheless, there are those among us who just don’t work well with people of different races or nationalities. In today’s global society and multicultural corporate business models, it’s virtually impossible to imagine a work environment without some sort of diversity. It’s not unusual to see members of conflicted ethnic groups working together in a third country, these types of situations often require mediation daily, especially if the conflict is still ongoing or recently finished.

Sexual differences, age gaps, experience, political views, and pretty much everything that defines an aspect of a person can be cause for intolerance. The problem is not in our differences, it’s in the way we perceive them and react to those divergences.

The Social Dangers of Workplace Intolerance

The most notable issue caused by workplace intolerance is the business revenue. When team members don’t work together well, productivity goes down, individual efficiency drops, and overall revenue suffers as the result. If we allow our differences to cause interruptions in daily workflow, we can see a series of unfinished tasks or projects that run late due to a lack of cooperation between the team members.

According to many social issues essays written by experts in this field, workplace intolerance can lead to interpersonal problems that lead to people not communicating at work. Lack of communication at work can lead to more serious issues that might not only interrupt the workflow but also grow to become a social issue that requires some serious mediation. Also, allowing this type of situation at work, where a person or a group of people shows a lack of appreciation or respect for other people could also bring bad publicity for the company and become more than an internal issue.

A negative workplace atmosphere is bad for several different reasons, one of those reasons includes losing the chance to hire a high-quality professional because of poor social relations in your company. Working in an unhealthy atmosphere is not attractive, even with the most reasonable paycheck. The amount of stress that piles up when we work with a person that diminishes our work or undermines our effort simply because we don’t see things in life eye to eye, can build to a dangerous level and even cause office fights and serious health issues.

How to Deal with Workplace Intolerance?

As we mentioned earlier, intolerance is mainly triggered by a lack of experience. Learning about different people, cultures, religious beliefs and other diversities can help us be more tolerant to others. Team building sessions are an amazing way to bring the entire workforce together and work on fixing any social challenges that might affect our work atmosphere.

If we aren’t able to put ourselves in the position of another person, we can hardly understand their problems, things that prevent them from accomplishing their full potential at work, and even find out why they do some things that we just can’t tolerate. We could be getting mad at someone without realizing that the person is not doing that on purpose or with a bad intention.

It’s not a bad practice to organize occasional training sessions at work that would help employees get in touch with each other, as well as understand mutual problems and concerns. Identifying issues before they grow beyond control is important if we’re to prevent escalation. This why employees should regularly talk to their superiors and keep them informed about issues that prevent them from maximizing their potential.


Prejudice, discrimination, and intolerance are as old as the human race, and while we can’t prevent people from being prejudice or discriminatory, we can help establish a tolerant society, where people will be able to work together despite their differences. Our diversities can place a gap but only if we don’t have the will to learn or don’t get the chance to understand what makes those differences so important to us.

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About Paul Calderon

Paul Calderon is a freelance writer engaged with several online publishers. As a writer, Paul aims to deliver actual and trustworthy information. His work is based on respective resources and engaging storytelling.

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