What Constitutes a Hostile Working Environment? The Abusive Manager
- On 11 July 2023
- Posted by Chantal Mariotti
“An environment can become hostile when unwelcomed conduct, or harassment, is based on race, sex, pregnancy, religion, national origin, age, disability or genetics. Harassment is continued and long lasting. Conduct is severe enough that the environment becomes intimidating, offensive or abusive”.
But let’s take those “protected categories” out of the picture for a moment. Let’s say you have a manager in your employ that doesn’t have the best employee relations skills. Some might even say that he/she is “abusive”. So what would be some examples of that?
- Threatening employees
- Denying time off for “no good reason”
- Yelling or screaming most of the time
- Moody – for example, saying hello on some days, and not on others
- Using foul language
- Not treating all employees alike
- Loses his/her temper
- Critiques work performance, providing negative feedback in front of others
- Disciplines in public
None of these examples above can be associated to a protected category. Perhaps not “legally, but nevertheless, the manager is creating a hostile environment. The manager may also display these behaviors to all employees alike, thus not really discriminating. Nevertheless, the manager is creating hostility. Some managers also have “favorites”, thus treating certain employees differently. This can often times be construed as discrimination.
How to Solve this Problem?
Provide coaching to your manager with a Performance Improvement Plan (PIP). Outline what your expectations are, and what will be the consequences should he/she not improve. Make sure this “Plan” is placed in writing, and preferably signed by the manager. Review this plan every three (3) months to evaluate success. You may also consider retaining a “professional coach” for your team as a group or for individual coaching services.
Your Company Culture
Emphasizing an environment of mutual respect, cooperation, teamwork and most importantly “professionalism” is the best way to create a great company culture; a culture where your employees grow both personally and professionally. This will lead to a friendly, open and communicative team, which will result in excellent customer service, returned guests and better financial profits.
If you are in need of a professional work coach, search no further. Visit us at https://executivehrconsulting.com/hr-consultants and select the HR professional best suited for your needs.
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