Debates around Dignity In and At Work

Dignity In and At Work


            Human dignity is defined as the inalienable and inherent human value that cannot be measured, taken away, or even destroyed. It is important to note that dignity can be dependent or conditional on any aspect or anything. It is as a result of being human, it can be used to refer to a group of people or individuals or groups as a species (Alzheimer,2018). Humans are emotional beings since time immemorial with dignity playing a big role in this aspect with even a greater role when it comes to the various aspects of work. Dignity can be viewed as the ability to create a sense of self-worth in a person as well as respect and also appreciating the respect other people accord one simultaneously. When a person has dignity within himself or herself, he or she feels that he is worth something; this in turn boosts an individual in very many aspects that are both emotionally or psychologically, and physically. Dignity is a terminology that has been used to raise concerns about different features of work.

The debate on dignity at work has been surrounded by a focus that is directed on bullying with harassment in organizations. The dignity at work campaign is one that is of a high profile and draws attention to the daily behaviors of bullying which take place at places of work that serve to oppress and intimidate the workers. The bullying usually comes from the higher-ranking officials in the hierarchy of an organization, by cultural consensus, or from personal mal-intent, from fellow peers (Bolton, 2007).

The center of attention in the majority of the debates that surround dignity in and at work is entirely on the elements of dignity at the places of work, these elements are self-esteem, meaningful work, and also autonomy. This is an aspect of the debate on the dignity of work that has recently been focused on harassment and bullying at places of work. The campaign on dignity at work focuses on the bullying tendencies which are aimed at intimidating and undermining employees. The United Kingdom came up with the dignity of work act of 2001 which outlines that each worker has the right to dignity at his or her workplace. This campaign on dignity centers its attention on the denial of dignity that is brought about by working relationships that are poor with managers that are overzealous, competitive colleagues (Wolf, 2017). This makes the campaign miss out on the fact dignity at work does not just dwell on matters related to bullying only.

Dignity is not just a personal experience with regards to individual norms, behaviors, expectations, values as well as efforts, dignity can be also be explained in terms of the expectations and also the expectations of a specific social system, economic system, and also political system. Therefore, dignity at work contains two dimensions that are the subjective dimension and the objective dimension. Dignity is an inherent human feature that depends on how a person has connected as well as his or her social ties (KingsCollge, 2015). Therefore, intimidation plus harassment can be considered as an attack on the dignity of a person, in the same at dignity can be experienced in a job that gives support and care to other people. however, there are numerous material conditions that deter people from getting their dignity in their labor; that are the status of the organization, the type of work they do, the social hierarchies, the opportunities that are available, the extrinsic value which is put on the labor; all these add up to the concept of dignity at the place of work (KingsCollge, 2015).

Dignity at the workplace

            There is a wide category of matters concerning the denial of dignity in the contemporary workplace, this is evident since people are continuously presented with accounts of jobs that are demoralizing, jobs that are destructive, and those that are very demanding. There is little information when it comes to contemporary accounts for poor quality work yet people have been aware of the adverse effects and the repercussions of paid work in the free market. Management formulas have been modeled in attempting to come up with emotions that are positive, cultures that are compassionate as well as spiritual workplaces, thereby reinvigorating employees that are de-motivated and making a big leap toward appreciating and recognizing the fact that people are the most important asset of any organization (Kevin Bales, 2007). several models have been formulated in this line that captures the most efficient perspectives of management structures into a whole system that serves as a role model for best practice management or BPM companies can follow so that they transform into workplaces that give the best results.

Promoting dignity at the places of work appreciates the rights of the employees; it ensures that the employees are treated with respect, fairness, and with dignity. It makes sure that they are offered the best conditions that are safe for work, this makes the environment free from vices such as sexual harassment and bullying which defy dignity. Dignity helps in the reduction of stress among the workers, this, in turn, reduces any health-related issues and also absenteeism in an organization. Bullying in the workplace and harassment lead to increased turnover among employees, a workplace that is unhealthy as well as increased conflicts among the workforce. It can also damage the brand of the employer and result in litigation procedures that will cost the employer a lot of money and give the employer negative publicity.

It is essential for each employer to be aware that they have an obligation of ensuring that they have a work environment that is safe for the employees and free from bullying and any form of harassment. The time that is spent on promoting dignity in an organization is normally better than the time that the time is spent on handling the complaints that are reported by the employees on bullying and harassment. In today’s society defending dignity has become a serious hurdle to jump over with the prevailing economic conditions viewing work through the cost of production. This in line with the global economy has to be as lower as possible in order to be competitive in the tough economic times (Juan, 2015).

Here, the employees are viewed as consumers due to their lower wages that require them to be given credit so that they can boost their consumption and in the end, they end up with big debts. This is the reason why the international labor organization makes it clear that labor should not be viewed as a commodity by organizations (Juan, 2015). Therefore, employers should ensure that workers’ rights are respected, there is no discrimination, there is gender parity, social protection, and better salaries and wages which all amount to human dignity.

Importance of dignity at Work

Dignity is an idea that is normally related to the primary aspect of what being a human is. Nonetheless, unlike other ideologies that focus on the subjective aspects only of the experience of the workplace, it also captures material aspects of work. Dignity also queries the inherent tensions which are connected to the selling of labor for a wage plus the potential of exploitation of such a relationship. This argument aims at showing that linking quality work of work with the flourishing of people along with dignity gives a path that is fruitful for assessing employees, their work, and the workplaces that are in support of a desirable image of a society that is fair, mutual and also constitutive. It also states that with an engagement that is real from the policymakers plus business, it can handle the needs of a global environment that is highly competitive (Kevin Bales, 2007).

The concept of dignity can be applied in organizations applied when referring to valuable features with regards to virtue in which people are said to have a dignity status. This is irrespective of their class, nationality, skin color, or race as well as other conventionally irrelevant features. Other features that are prominent to this notion are the valuable capacities of human beings for instance their reason, the ability of people to act in the spirit of solidarity, and the human conscience. The circumstances of dignity are concerned with the domain situations whereby the attainment of the norms of dignity is essential.

The necessary ingredients of dignity are the specific features of people that are hopeful and problematic in some contexts. In addition, they are inclusive of some difficulties as well as vulnerabilities that arise from the scarcity of materials, mental plus physical frailties as well as some features that are trouble. These troublesome features include the following features; greediness, laziness, and selfishness. On the other hand, there are those noble features like valuable human characteristics that form the foundation of dignity along with the prospects of deploying them in solving conflicts in the society and also deficiencies that are connected to dignitary respect and dignitary concern (Kevin Bales, 2007). The dignitary norms state how individuals should handle situations of dignity in different scenarios. The latter is, therefore, important for outlining the former because the two are feasible and desirable normatively.

Solidarity empowerment requests for persons to be ready to offer support to the growth and development of people. Solidarity Empowerment, the most proper response to the dignity of humans revolves around not only avoiding the negative roles or avoiding harm as well. However, the positive duties that are of concern, should be protected and facilitated (Elgar, 2011). The important capacities that form the basis of dignity cement the former as well as the latter. Dignity at work enables individuals to strengthen their defense when it comes to fighting for particular rights. Therefore, we observe how essential self-determination is for the dignity of people at work. It also enables us to see how important how one can choose a job freely rather than get forced into it. In the same way, we get to understand the essence of the worker’s unions and employee rights groups as well as other associations that fight for the interests of the workers.

Workers need to have the ability to take part in the active shaping of social progress that leads to better working conditions for them if they are going to be dynamic agents and not just employees that benefit from their employers. Human dignity being a status should be held equally by everyone, this will greatly help in criticizing discrimination. When the idea of dignity is appealed to, the depth, as well as our capacity of thinking, is increased on matters to do with workers’ rights at the places of work. Dignity enables us to understand labor rights, it also articulates the roles that are linked to labor rights and also how they are related to other rights that are important (NHSFoundationTrust, 2012). It is also important to note that human dignity is a political idea and a resonant moral idea. It is seen as one of the principal ideas that are behind the laws of labor. The other ideas state that the inequality that exists when negotiating for a balance between the employers and the employees should be compensated for by empowerment of solidarity. It is interesting to note that the approach of dignity is able to capture the content and also elaborate on the force that is behind the extra ideas.


Dignity at work encompasses how people are treated at their places with respect to the idea of solidarity empowerment with regard to the employees’ life. This concept requires the generation of social schemes that are feasible and reasonable that support each other as individuals are in pursuit of development, and as they exercise their valuable abilities to provide personalized and community in ways that are beneficial. The circle of dignity ranges from basic human rights to proper and decent working conditions to the best rights that will succeed in the best working practices which are free from exploiting the workers, alienation, and domination as well. Therefore, dignity exists for everyone, however, the issue is that is the human dignity is tarnished by society by discrimination of employees, abuse and harassment of employees, and many more vices. Nonetheless, in spite of all the negativity at surrounds human dignity, as humans, we should not forget the positive side of dignity. When employees and their employers are able to work together, we should not overlook the fact that there is fair treatment. This makes the employees dignity at work, thereby making contributions to the success of the organization, hence its productivity which transgresses to making the world a better place.


Alzheimer Europe – Ethics – Definitions and approaches – Other ethical principles – Dignity. (2018). Retrieved 16 February 2018, from

Bolton, C. (2007). Dignity in and at work: why it matters. In: Dimensions. London: Dignity in and at work: why it matters. In: Dimensions.

Elgar, E. (2011). The Edward Elgar research handbook on. New York: Cheltenham .

Juan,S. (2015) Valuing the dignity of work | Human Development Reports. (2018). Retrieved 16 February 2018, from

Kevin Bales. (2007). Global Slavery. Westview: Westview Press.

KingsCollge. (2015). DIGNITY AT WORK: Statement of Commitment . London: KingsCollege.

NHSFoundationTrust. (2012). Dignity at work policy. NHC.

Wolf, A. (2017, October). State of the Debate: The Moral Meanings of Work. Retrieved from The American Prospect:

Alzheimer Europe – Ethics – Definitions and approaches – Other ethical principles – Dignity. (2018). Retrieved 16 February 2018, from