What are some common hostile work environment examples? Read below to find out and how coworking can help.
Did you know that every one in five people in the United States is a victim of a hostile work environment? If you are in the same boat, you are not alone. If you are an employer, you need to be very concerned and ensure your office environment isn’t taking a toll on your employees. Here we give a few examples of hostile work environments examples that you need to be aware of.
Hostile Work Environment Examples
First and foremost, it is important to look for hostile work environment examples. Employees constantly experiencing burnout, people arguing now and then, job dissatisfaction, job insecurity amongst employees, and frequent layoffs are some of the most obvious signs of a hostile workspace. It is easier to understand these signs with examples which are elaborated on below:
Sexual and Racial Harassment
Both sexual and racial harassment is a perfect concoction for a hostile workspace. As a boss, you cannot have people on board who comment on people’s sexual orientation, gender, color, and race. If you are receiving complaints from your employees, look into the situation seriously and take strict action against people who do so.
Discrimination of any kind is never welcomed. Any discrimination based on gender, color, caste, creed, and even based on age creates a bias against certain groups. It can lead to legal actions against your company. You must look out for people who create a situation within your office.
Well, a great example of consistent aggressiveness is a VP constantly yelling at their personal assistant or executives. This is a clear sign of a hostile workspace and indicates that people are victimized or afraid of their bosses.
If your pranks make someone feel frustrated and embarrassed, it is time to switch your behavior. While some people don’t mind playing jokes and teasing others, this can create a toxic space for others. These behaviors are difficult to spot as an employer. Hence, encourage your employees to come to you if they feel slightly uncomfortable.
Complaints and Punishments
If your employees complain constantly and supervisors threaten their juniors regarding punishments, it is a recipe for a hostile workspace.
Fixing a Hostile Workspace
There isn’t a perfect answer to fix a hostile workspace. Each company has a different way of dealing with an abusive work environment. This essentially differs from a case-to-case basis. If a single person is responsible for creating a hostile environment, the solution revolves around firing that person or taking strict action so that it doesn’t happen again. If the person is a CEO, someone you have little authority over, or even a great company performer, the situation gets very complicated. In this regard, it is important to speak with a person and let them know that their behavior is contributing to an awful work environment. Generally, good communication resolves issues associated with the behavior.
There are instances where the company’s entire culture is causing a problem. For instance, certain companies are known to be very toxic to women or LGBTQ members. This requires a massive transformation from start to bottom. Senior members of the companies need to sit together and analyze where they went wrong. Once they have a clear idea of the situation, they can revisit company policy, have an open discussion with all their employees, and set clear boundaries and consequences for people responsible for the hostility. A great example is that if your company is dealing with sexual harassment, have a policy that states what it means, what are acceptable and unacceptable behaviors, and what the consequences are.
There are cases when executives are promoting toxic culture. This can sometimes go unnoticed. However, if you suspect the situation, talk to them openly and ensure they are involved in taking the right steps to make everything better. Inform them of legal risks and complaints you have been receiving. Sometimes, the person is unaware of the toxicity they are causing. Create a plan, work with them, and encourage them to change.
One of the most important elements to prevent a hostile work environment is to open up paths of communication and take the right steps when needed. Statistics indicate that most cases of sexual harassment go unreported. This is mainly due to the fact that a lot of employers react by retaliating against the person who initiates the complaint. Such behavior needs to be a huge no-no for any company. Moreover, it is illegal under EEOC laws and will result in the opening of lawsuits. As an employer, you need to assure your employees that their complaints will be entertained and proper investigation will be initiated against the perpetrator. This will give them the confidence to come to you in any unwanted situation and prevent the entire company’s culture from becoming toxic.
If you notice that your workspace is overwhelmingly toxic and you will need a few months to a year to clear the situation, it is time to switch to flexible working for the time being. Allow your employees to work from home or arrange coworking space passes. If they feel uncomfortable working from a toxic office, another coworking space will give them a nice breather. In the meanwhile, you can handle the situation at work. Once they come back or decide to work from the office, the environment will be much healthier and more welcoming. Try it, and you will surely see a difference.
We hope you found this post informative and helpful. Learning about hostile work environment examples is a huge realization. Fixing this can take some time. You need to be very patient and stop unwelcome conduct immediately while you work through the deeper-rooted issues. Always encourage open communication and feedback while working to improve your company’s culture. If you have any more questions, leave them in the comments section below, and our team will be happy to assist you.