How to prevent toxic behavior in the workplace

Ohio residents typically want a job that they enjoy and co-workers they can rely on. Unfortunately, employee behavior can result in a level of toxicity that damages the entire cohesiveness of the group. By being able to identify early warning signs of a toxic work environment, you can put necessary measures in place to remove it before it becomes an epidemic.

Identifying hostile behavior

Any employment law attorney can tell you that working with others requires some level of acceptance. Some employees are rude or enjoy cracking casual jokes, but just because they exhibit some unhelpful behaviors doesn’t mean that they make a work environment hostile.

Workplace behavior must have four main attributes to be considered hostile. These include that the behavior must be discriminatory, pervasive, severe and unwelcome. While discrimination may be an easy attribute to define, pervasiveness may not be. When courts are assessing a workplace for hostility, the behaviors exhibited must have been pervasive in the sense that they happened for a long time. Typically, a couple of comments here and there don’t classify as pervasive.

Tips for preventing hostility in the workplace

When complaints come up on your desk or you witness hostile actions, you need to deal with them immediately. The sooner you let an employee know that their behavior is not allowed in the workplace, the more likely you’ll be able to curb the problem early on. When employees learn that you won’t tolerate the toxic behavior, they’ll be less likely to do it. In addition, it’s wise to have employee training regarding what is considered hostility in the workplace. This can give employees a clear line so that they know not to cross it.

Preventing toxicity in the workplace is a necessity of every business owner to ensure the longevity of their business. When you have a cohesive group working together towards one purpose, you have success. Unfortunately, maintaining a cohesive group requires constant maintenance. If you’re experiencing some hostility, it’s important to nip it in the bud before it gets worse.