The 10 Most Common Mistakes Corporations Make That Lead To A Hostile Work Environment

No corporation purposely arranges to have a hostile work environment – especially today, when violence costs U.S. businesses $36 billion a year and Supreme Court decisions require companies to prevent, not just react to, all forms of harassment. Yet corporations make 10 common mistakes that can easily lead to a hostile work environment – even though these costly mistakes can be corrected.

1. Denial: executives and managers think “it can’t happen here.”

2. Fear of confrontation: managers ignore employees’ poor job performance and high-risk behaviors – and fail to document either — because they do not want to confront the employee

3. Failure to facilitate: when two or more employees have problems with each other, the manager tells them to “work it out” themselves, instead of facilitating a discussion

4. Rewarding flattery: managers want their egos stroked more than they want honest input or feedback about how things are going

5. Rewarding macho behavior: managers want male employees to “take it like a man,” instead of discussing situations that make employees angry

6. Making excuses: managers “explain,” to themselves, unusual behaviors on the part of employees or peers they know well, instead of seeing the behavior for what it is and taking appropriate steps

7. Allowing isolation: managers allow technical specialists to be “exempt” from teamwork and from team thinking

8. The “buddy” system: managers reward and promote employees on the basis of friendship instead of performance

9. Workaholism: managers require – overtly and covertly – that employees spend an excessive number of hours at work

10. Refusing to change: managers keep things “the way they’ve always been,” instead of making appropriate changes and helping employees adapt


Lynne McClure

Lynne McClure, Ph.D. is nationally-recognized as a leading expert in managing high-risk employee behaviors before they escalate to violence and other hostile acts at work. Dr. McClure identifies eight categories of high-risk behaviors, based on personality disorders and mental illnesses defined in the Diagnostic & Statistical Manual IV (DSM-IV). Her… MORE >

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