Hostile Work Environment and the Effects on Morale

Who likes to work in the hostile work environment?  The answer for many people (should be everyone) would be, no one.

What is a Hostile Work Environment 1Unfortunately, there has been many individuals, including some of the readers of this article right now, that has either experience a hostile work environment in a previous employment, currently working in one or has become self employed because they do not want to deal with the abuse any longer.

One answer to the main question is as follows:

A hostile work environment is a working environment that promotes anger, disputes and ultimately results in a workplace that is detached.

Since the main question has been answered, let us focus of the effect that a hostile work environment can have on the level of morale, also motivation, with the employees and management in the workplace.  There are many key factors that this topic could have when focusing on the morale and motivation in the workplace, but this article will hit on the biggest key issues.

Effect on Morale

1. System Shut Down

Employees and the management team will shut themselves off to the environment  and when conducting business with clients, customers or the public, they will do the minimum duties with minimum level or without initiative or charisma.

2. Did you hear what happened?

Since many employees are either angry or fed up with the working situation that they are currently in, some may spread rumors or gossip about individuals that they are having issues with, coworkers or managers, to hopefully tarnish their name or just to be a form or retaliation.  No one likes to have someone talking about them behind their back, especially untrue events.  Typically employees that have a higher level of morale and job satisfaction will not try to deface coworkers or managers.

3. I’m sorry, I can’t come in today

What all managers hate to hear, someone calling out, there sick, car broke down, my goldfish died, etc..

Most likely when an office or organization is experiencing a hostile environment, members of the office or organization will try to get out of work as much as possible.  Employees and even managers may call in sick and give other excuses to get out of work. There are direct and indirect issues with this factor, which are as follows:

  • Employees that are covering the shifts and/or the work of employees that didn’t show up to work, will be more stressed and may become more resentful of the employee(s) that called out and the managers that made them cover the extra work.
  • Employees that were covering other employees work or shifts may also create a habit of not showing up to work to get back at the employee(s) that are not showing up and to get back at management for making them do extra work.
  • Management may become frustrated and take out some of that frustration on the employees, which is never a good approach in management.
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