The ideal working environment enables workers to give positive output by rendering their services in the best way. It is supposed to offer workers a perfect setting that ensures their concentration and focus on their jobs. Unfortunately, this ideal workplace environment is rarely achieved due to challenges that arise in an atmosphere of work. When this happens, workers are affected mostly psychologically, and they can’t offer their best to their employers as they are distracted or in a poor state of mind to give out the best output. A challenge in the workplace environment leads to less production from workers, which leads to the company’s poor performance overall. The ramifications of failing to stem out workplace challenges cannot be understated. The challenges can result in employee demotivation and less output, leading to companies going bankrupt as they can no longer profit and job losses due to the closure of workplaces in the worst-case scenario. It is the prerogative of management to identify and come up with measures to reduce, if not eliminate, any challenge that arises in the workplace scenario (Medeiros & Griffith). However, this can be hard if the management or a senior employee engages in acts that contribute to workplace challenges, intentionally sabotaging such effort. For example, a manager who wants to take advantage of a female intern by demanding sexual favors in return for him offering her a permanent position in the organization.
Claire is an intern working at a software development firm. The company is a startup that has recently secured its first significant deal of software development for a major food chain outlet. As a result, it has secured the services of extra help from five interns. Claire is the only female amongst interns and is elated at the chance to practice her skills. She hopes that the company which is gaining a foothold in the industry will offer her a permanent role. The company consists of 82 permanent workers stationed in different departments, but most are in software development. The male gender dominates the workplace, and there are barely fifteen female employees, with Claire included. Dan is the senior manager at the company who oversees most of its operations, especially with issues to do with employees. He coordinates workers’ everyday activities, so he constantly interacts with most workers in the software department. He operates from his own office but occasionally pops out to check on employee progress in their workstations.
Claire has noticed a change in Dan’s attitude towards her lately. He is friendlier than before and less agitated by her mistakes and seems eager to teach her the different aspects of the workplace. She is pleased with the new approach of her boss, and she also gets close to him in the process. She encounters a challenge in her work and decides to consult Dan on the same. As she heads to his office, he can see her, and she spots him standing up and closing the office curtains. She doesn’t read much into his actions as she enters his office unbothered. Dan is now sitting across with his face beaming; Claire takes this to mean he is happy about work. She explains her coming to his office, but he smiles and tells her not to worry as he will help her. Dan urges Claire to take her seat closer to his, but Claire is hesitant. He doesn’t seem pleased with her reaction, and he tells her that if she cooperates, she will be offered a role at the company. Claire is perplexed by the turn of events and can’t believe what she is hearing. She is both mad and afraid because she doesn’t know what to do anymore. She tells him that she doesn’t condone his behavior straight to his face and leaves while banging the door behind her.
Dan has tried to exploit his position as a senior manager to sexually take advantage of Claire, an intern who is his subordinate. He is aware that the power dynamics are in his favor, and the optics are clear on who is better placed to influence the situation’s outcome. When the scenario does not go as planned, Dan recalls Claire to his office. He threatens her even going to the extent of attempting to discredit her credibility by insinuating that she wants him just as much as he wants her. On the other hand, Claire feels betrayed by the same person who should be guiding her to get experience in her job. She partly blames herself for seeking an internship in a men-dominated workplace and secretly wishes she was dealing with a female boss. Claire can’t understand why someone would be that inhumane as to demand sexual favors from their subordinates. Claire is traumatized, and she doesn’t feel the same about the company and her work there. She wants out of the company to avoid further harassment as she feels there is nowhere she can get help since Dan holds power in that department.