What to Do in a Hostile Work Environment

A hostile work environment can be described as an environment where one’s workplace is toxic and unwelcoming to the point where it’s almost impossible for them to get their job done. This also includes being repeatedly singled out from the group, constantly being berated for minuscule things, or always being the subject of a cruel joke. The harasser can be a supervisor, a fellow colleague, or even a visitor who doesn’t work for the company.

Being in a hostile work environment can be detrimental to one’s health. According to a 2017 Study from the Workplace Bullying Institute, 60.4 Million Americans are affected by workplace bullying. Those who are or have been bullied can experience high levels of stress, anxiety, inability to concentrate, and trouble sleeping – just to name a few. If there have been attempts made to confront the harasser about their offending actions and the behavior persists, here are some options to choose from so that one doesn’t feel completely stuck.

  • Consider your allies. If you have a trusted friend in the workplace, talk to them. There is a chance that your fellow colleague could be experiencing the same thing that you are. Not only is it important to know that you are not completely alone, but it’s also good to know that someone else has been made aware of what’s going on, in the case that the situation escalates.
  • Keep yourself safe. Along with having an ally, it’s also important to be conscious of the circumstances. If the harasser is your immediate supervisor or even a colleague, try to avoid situations where you might be alone with them. If they invite you out to lunch, politely decline. If they keep persisting, tell them that you brought lunch from home, or that you’re just not hungry. Even though there’s a chance that nothing will happen, it’s better to be safe than sorry. Steer clear of situations where you’re not completely comfortable.
  • If you’ve followed all three previous steps and nothing has changed, the only thing left to do is to possibly look for an escape. If you have a human resources department in your company or organization, you might want to utilize that and make them aware of the situation. However, if you simply cannot tolerate the behavior anymore, you can consider resigning. Perhaps start looking for positions elsewhere. If the opportunity arises and you do get another job somewhere else, give your supervisor your 2 weeks’ notice. Explain to them that you found another position elsewhere and that you are leaving. It is important to note that you should make a peaceful exit. You never know when you’ll need a recommendation letter, or there is a chance you could end up working for the company again in the future.

A Team That Works Together Stays Together

We are taught to work in teams throughout our entire life. Whether it was in sports, mandatory school projects or working on a team at the workplace, the importance of teamwork was emphasized and cooperation was anticipated. Why do we hold such prominence to a seemingly simple expectation? Well, when done correctly, teamwork can create a work culture of support, constructiveness, satisfaction and open communication. All of which leads to happy, productive workers. Read on for ways to assist in promoting effective teamwork in the workplace:

  • Divide the work

A team of individuals working together is more effective than one single person stretching themselves to make sure an assignment is finished on time.  Dividing the work is the perfect opportunity to showcase workers talents and areas of expertise. Teamwork does not mean everyone does everything together. Roles and responsibility can be assigned according to the individual’s preferences or specialties.

  • Ask for help

It’s completely acceptable to seek others assistance, expertise or support when you need it. Coming together to take on a task is what teamwork is all about.

  • Brainstorm together

Ideas can become stale when working in solitary. Brainstorming together encourages creativity and creates a fun environment where employees can express themselves and receive feedback from colleagues.

  • Rally a common goal

Sharing a common goal brings people closer, even more so at the workplace. Determining what the grand goal is and how every team member can contribute to reaching it demonstrates that dependency and trust among colleagues exist.

  • Celebrate as a team

Teamwork begins with working together and is even more rewarding when you celebrate together. Appreciating your teammates work and showing gratitude towards everyone’s contributions goes a long way. Reaching milestones towards a goal or accomplishing the goal itself is definitely worth celebrating, so why not do it together?

All it takes to work as a team is a consistent effort and collaboration. It may take some time to create a plan to enforce teamwork, but the results are worth it. After all, what could be better than supportive, satisfied employees working together?

At Nova Medical Centers, we thrive off working as a team with every patient, partner, and team member. We pride ourselves in delivering exceptional services and helping our clients prioritize their health and safety needs while assisting in creating the best possible working environment for their employees. Contact us for more information about any of our services. We’d be happy to have you on our team.


Written by Nayda Sanchez