We spend the majority of our lives at work. In fact, we spend more time working than we do sleeping. And since we spend so much time spent at the office, your work environment needs to be one where you feel happy. Unfortunately, even if your boss is the best and the rest of your colleagues feel like family, there always seems to be that one person who makes your time in the office less than enjoyable. Whether it’s passive-aggressive behavior or outright disrespect, working in a hostile environment can take its toll.

Are Negative Behaviors Promptly Dealt With?

Aside from making your workday less than ideal, a hostile work environment needs to meet certain criteria. Typically, this involves someone, or more than one person, making it impossible for you to thrive at work. This could be anything from a boss who embarrasses daily in front of co-workers or a fellow colleague who takes workplace bullying to the next level. Regardless, the way the issue is handled plays an enormous role. When reported, it’s important that you take action, even if it’s a supervisor who is the guilty party. If negative behavior is reported to you, don’t deal with it the way this supervisor did. No one deserves to feel isolated and abused in the workplace, especially since employees are there helping to build someone else’s dream. When matters are left unresolved, it also opens the door for legal action.

Are Employees Treated Fairly?

Another key piece of the puzzle is workplace equality. Even now, the reports of discrimination in the workplace run rampant. From race or gender discrimination, this behavior is completely unacceptable. All employees should be treated equal, regardless of color, gender or title. Keep in mind that workplace racism isn’t always cut and dry. It doesn’t have to be in-your-face racism for it to be valid. It can something as continually not emailing a specific person important information they need to do their job effectively. Workplace racism takes on many forms, so it’s important to listen when someone finally finds the courage to speak up.

Are Employees Able to Do Their Jobs?

In a happy, productive work environment, employees are able to meet deadlines and even surpass personal goals. However, in a hostile workplace, productivity is below average, and employees may fail to reach benchmarks, which only perpetuates the hostility. Sadly, those most affected by the hostility have a hard time navigating the murky waters of their workday while trying to focus on productivity. When it comes down to it, bullying isn’t something that only happens on the playground. Bullying in the workplace is real and affects people from all walks of life. Being able to identify signs of workplace hostility and effectively nip it in the bud is what makes someone a good leader.

Most importantly, people in positions of power also need to be held accountable. Being the boss doesn’t give anyone the right to torment, belittle or berate another person. Sadly, when this does occur, employees are left floundering, unsure of what to do. Set the example by being the person who does the right thing.

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