It’s natural for some of your employees to become pent up with rage. This can unleash itself with high-pitched outbursts such as screaming.
Although this isn’t ideal for your business, it’s an inevitable part of working life.
As such, you should follow various employment laws and policies to ensure your workforce chooses appropriate moments to scream in manic desperation.
How to Manage Screaming at Work
Why do your employees scream? As an employer, this should concern you as it can be a sign of:
- Severe frustration.
- Manic depression.
- Early stage practice for auditions in movies and/or opera (i.e. you’ll have to fork out for a replacement for them, which is bad news).
As such, it’s important to draft up a Screaming at Work Policy so your staff understand when they should (and should not) produce a long and loud piercing cry in your working environment.
Drafting Your Screaming at Work Policy
You need to make it clear there’s a time and a place to scream.
For example, during a meeting with stakeholders it’s important to ensure no member of staff is screaming in their faces.
So, you’ll need to address key points in your policy so that staff are aware of how and when to approach vocal exclamations. Cover the following points:
- Screaming outside of work is encouraged and welcome.
- Screaming inside of work isn’t encouraged and isn’t welcome.
- There should be no screaming at colleagues, customers, or on-site visitors.
- If there is screaming at colleagues, customers, or on-site visitors then you’re liable to a punch to the face (refer to the Punching Co-Workers in the Face Act 2010).
- Your business isn’t intended to be an environment for screaming, so make it clear employees should attend horror film festivals outside of work to let out their pent up frustrations.
You can summarise these policies in a simple blurb so your staff are aware of their requirements:
"Screaming at work is tolerated, but should be kept to an absolute minimum of only one scream per day. Do not exceed five screams per week. If you do, this leaves you liable to a gross misconduct charge. If you find yourself in a position where screaming is the only possible course of action, attempt to remove yourself from the situation to perform the activity away from important workplace activities. For example, remove yourself to one of the lavatories to perform the practice alone in a cubicle. It is also essential that you do not scream at customers. Customers do not like being screamed at. Remember the anachronistic old adage, 'The customer is always right.' This should not be, 'The customer is always in fright.' As such, refrain from screaming at our customers. Again, if you must scream then take yourself away from the customer(s) and partake in your vocal exclamation away from fiscal generating assets. Do note, as part of our employee assistance programme the business provides quarterly funding to horror festivals. This is to encourage staff to alleviate their burns from their systems, ensuring our workplace is not interrupted by periodic bouts of high-pitched shrieking."
Remember to provide a copy of this policy to your new starters upon their starting with your business.
If they have any protestations about your policy, tell them to cram a sock in it.
Examples of Screaming at Work
Below we provide a list of examples for common work-based screaming possibilities. This list isn’t exhaustive, but use it for your awareness purposes:
- Your janitor is mopping up pools of vomit after the office Christmas party and, in a fit of existential dismay, realises the pointlessness of his existence.
- A shelf stacker drops a tin of baked beans on his foot and proceeds to exclaim his pain and anger at this development.
- One of your chefs accidentally immerses his arms into a vat of boiling oil, which leads to much hysterics.
- You bang your head on the doorway and lose your cool, shrieking in front of your staff and breaking your own policies.
Remember, screaming at work can occur due to a wide variety of reasons and is difficult to predict.
But with a trusty policy in place, you’ll keep noise to a minimum and staff frustrations pent up inside of them, where they’ll merely manifest as severe stress and burnout.