In a perfect world, everyone will complete a job that they love, people will strive to protect each other and the planet, and there won’t be such a thing as a hostile environment. Unfortunately, we don’t live in a perfect world.
In short, you could be facing a hostile work environment. You need to understand when this is happening and what to do about it.
The Hostile Work Environment
The simplest way to explain a hostile work environment is when the behaviour of others makes you uncomfortable and incapable of performing your job properly. You’ll be on edge all the time and especially when specific people are present.
It’s likely that you’ll be afraid of certain people and probably feel intimidated. This is often the case when it’s an employer making the environment hostile as you can feel there is no way out.
There are many reasons why people will be hostile, it can simply be because they don’t like you or resent you. Or, it can be to do with race, gender, or even your religion.
If you are experiencing the following you’re in a hostile work environment.
Being discriminated against means you are being treated differently, and not better, than other employees doing the same job. It can be through pay rate, missing promotions, or simply what work is expected from you;
Managers and even supervisors that aren’t good at managing people will often use fear to get you to do what they want. This is achieved by threatening you with job loss or something similar.
It creates a bad relationship and is likely to reduce productivity.
In many cases, the manager will make demeaning remarks about specific individuals or simply belittle them in front of their colleagues. This is humiliation and a type of bullying. Alongside the gossip, they may interfere with your work to ensure you fail and they can publicly berate you.
Tackling Hostile Work Environments
Hostile working environments often result in employees quitting as they feel they have no other choice. This is when you should get an unfair dismissal employment lawyer involved. They will assess all the details and can take the appropriate action to either get your job back or obtain compensation. This will help while you look for another job.
It can help to report the issue to your HR department or a higher manager. If that’s not an option try a different member of the management team. This can be enough for the person to be spoken to and realize they are not behaving professionally or fairly.
However, this can also make matters worse as they will resent you reporting them. In this instance, you will need to make sure you record all incidents in detail. It will help when you speak with your lawyer and take the company to court. Sometimes, this is the only practical way to deal with a hostile work environment, even though it means losing your job.