Hostility In The Workplace
Hostility in the workplace is defined as any form of unwanted physical or verbal abuse. This can often included jokes about or singling out a person for their race,sex,religion.clothes or mental capacity. Hostility in the workplace is the leading cause of workplace violence. If hostility between co-workers is allowed to grow it more often than not ends in a violent act. There are several ways to prevent hostility in the workplace as long you know what the signs are and how to stop them from occurring.
All employees should have to enroll in a class that teaches understanding hostility in the workplace. Once the course has been completed you should test each person to make sure they understand exactly what is considered a hostile work environment and the consequences that will occur if anyone is caught in a hostile act. Another great idea is to have every employee sign an agreement that they will not promote hostility and will do there best to prevent any issues from arising in the future. You can also state on the agreement that any person that is found to have committed a hostile act at work is subject to punishment such as suspension or even termination.
Management must work closely with the entire building in order to assure that hostility in the workplace in not taken place. The best way is to lead by example all management should always be professional while at work. This does not mean you cannot be friendly with your employees it simple means you must know what lines should not be crossed and make sure that you never cross them. You might think that a joke you heard was funny but if there is any possibility that it could offend even one person in the office it is best just to keep your mouth shut.
Sexual Harassment: A Main Cause of Workplace Hostility
Sexual harassment is one of the main causes for hostility in the workplace. Most times a person that is being sexual harassed at work does not speak up about the situation. This is a sure fire way to lead to hostility at work. The person being harassed grows more and more aggravated or upset while the person doing the harassment may think its all in fun. All employees should be encouraged to come forward if they are being harassed in anyway. Let them know that you and all management are available and willing to listen and help if a problem arises between two or more of the workers.
While we are on the subject of sexual harassment you should have a strict policy against workplace romance. While it may be nice and fun at first to be in a relationship with a person you are working with if things go wrong in the relationship you may end up taking it out on each other or others while at work. On the other hand if the relationship becomes serious you are more likely to show favoritism toward your partner which may cause others at work to resent your relationship and become very hostile towards both of you. So the best way to avoid these situations is to not let them occur on the first place.
A hostile work environment is a serious problem that could lead to even bigger problems. You should do all that you can to promote a safe and hostile free work environment for all of your employees.