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Keeping a workplace from becoming hostile

When a hostile environment develops in a workplace, it can cause many harms. In addition to making things very hard for a company’s employees, it can also create significant problems for a company. For example, a hostile work environment can:

  • Significantly harm worker morale. This can have a variety of adverse effects on a company’s operations and productivity.
  • Cause a business to develop a reputation of being a bad place to work. This could cause quality employees to leave a company. It could also make recruiting quality workers very difficult.
  • Lead to significant legal troubles for a company. In some instances, allegations of a work environment becoming hostile could result in a company facing lawsuits from workers, such as sexual harassment lawsuits.

Given these things, it can be critical for small businesses to keep their workplace from becoming a hostile environment. Among the things that can have impacts on the work environment at a given company are what workplace policies it has. Companies can seek out guidance from experienced business lawyers on creating policies aimed at helping keep things that employees could view as being hostile or threatening out of the workplace.

A recent study indicates that quite a few workers in the U.S. view their workplace as a hostile environment. In the study, over 3,000 U.S. workers were surveyed about their experience at work. The survey was performed in 2015.

Of the surveyed workers, around one-fifth indicated that they felt that the environment at their work was hostile or threatening.

Why do you think so many workers feel they are facing a hostile work environment? What do you think are the most important lessons for companies to take from these survey results? What things do you think are currently posing the biggest risks for hostile/threatening conditions developing in American workplaces?

Source: ABC News, “One-fifth of Americans find workplace hostile or threatening,” Paul Wiseman, Aug. 14, 2017

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