Working in a hostile environment can affect your productivity and threaten both your personal and professional success. Furthermore, you may feel threatened and face concerns about your safety and well-being.
Understanding the conditions that contribute to a hostile work environment can help you recognize harmful behaviors. With your knowledge, you can proactively report concerns and prevent ongoing problems.
Every workplace should have specific rules regarding personal conduct and employer expectations. Ineffective dissemination of this information to workers can result in a hostile work environment. Your employer should maintain open communication and have protocols in place for reporting concerns.
Communication between you and your employer, you and your coworkers and the company as a whole should prioritize respect, professionalism and ethics. When communication remains fluid, your employer can reduce misunderstandings which could cause workers to become upset, anxious or hostile.
Your employer should have a clear definition of what constitutes hostility in the workplace. Accompanying this information should be a description of consequences for people who violate the rules. According to the Society for Human Resource Management, without consequences for bad behavior and incentives for good behavior, your employer cannot expect compliance.
If you bring a concern to your employer regarding a hostile work environment, they should promptly address your claim. Immediate action should follow including proper disciplinary measures for the accused. Throughout the process, you should receive regular updates from your employer regarding the outcome of their actions. When everyone sees the seriousness in which your employer treats such circumstances, it may deter similar problems from happening again in the future.