Working in a hostile work environment

Working in a hostile work environment

I had to do a sexual harassment training today since it was a company mandatory policy. I realized that a past job I worked at was in a hostile work environment.

One of the ways that a job can have a hostile work environment is if your manager regularly uses swear words. I had to speak to my manager about this practice since it bothered a coworker. I don’t mind language but if it bothers someone else, then clearly it needs to be addressed.

Another way to know if it is a hostile work environment is if there are sexual images there. Where I worked one of the coworkers had a male swimsuit calendar up. I wasn’t offended, but I can imagine that other men might have felt uncomfortable if they had seen it.

Another sign to know if this is a problem is if a supervisor has verbal anger toward you. I experienced this many times as well. Many of my bosses have been jerks, and I felt sorry that they had such poor self control.

Unfortunately the same manager also belittled me and others. It was unfortunate that they didn’t remember that old manager saying “praise in public, criticize in private.”

I could go on but I won’t. People ignorantly do things and that doesn’t define who I am. The key thing to know if it is a hostile work environment is if you feel that you don’t want to go to work. There are other less overt things that bad managers do. Unhealthy competition between coworkers, favoritism, not giving credit where it is due. See my past article on this.

It isn’t easy to be a manager. You have to look at things from more than just your own limited viewpoint. You have to try to imagine the choices that your staff are given and they do the best they can with what they have. You try to empower people not just with words, but with the tools and information they need to be successful.

Being an ineffective boss is easy, being an effective one is hard.

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