Work can be very stressful and cause problems with your mental health. Some jobs are just high-pressure environments and despite the company’s best efforts, it is just difficult to work. On the other side of that coin are workplaces that shouldn’t be so difficult, yet, have a toxic environment that makes it so.
If you find that your workplace is far more difficult to work than it should be because people are being discriminated against, or there are too many bullies allowed to operate then you either need to find a new job or find a way to handle working there. In this article, we will give you some ideas on how to deal with a toxic workplace.
1 – Find allies
In a hostile workplace, you are very unlikely to be the only one who feels uncomfortable and under pressure. This means that often your co-workers are feeling the same way. It is important for you to find the people who share your concerns and will be on your side to create a common front.
If you decide to hire an employment attorney like HKM, then having allies like these will help you build a case when or if you decide to make a claim. You should try to form a group with these co-workers to talk about solutions and even bring a case together to a lawyer so you have strength in numbers.
In the meantime, make sure to decide as a group that there will be no participating in office gossip, and ask those that do partake to stop. You can also draft a letter signed by the group to give to the offending parties to curb their language and stop doing whatever it is that is causing the environment to be toxic.
2 – Document everything
At some point, you are going to have to report things to a higher-up or HR department. To make sure that something concrete is actually done about the problems you will need to present evidence that such a problem actually exists.
The best way to do this is to go armed with plenty of evidence that the problem exists. This can include testimony from witnesses to bullying behavior or whatever the problem is. Follow it up by texts or emails that have threatening or inappropriate language. You should even have a journal that contains the dates, times, and other relevant information from when a specific event took place.
3 – Identify the cause
Sometimes the hostility is coming from a specific source and for concrete reasons. Often, when you can identify the person or the policy that is causing the problem, then you can take steps to find a solution to fix the problem. If it is a boss then that person can be reprimanded in a way that stops the behavior. If it is a policy then it can be revised to tone down the toxicity that is evident. Figure out what is the cause and then you can find a solution.