An agreeable environment at the workplace does not necessarily mean one that the management is mindful of the employees alone. It also greatly includes one that co-workers have mutual respect for one another and the management encourages this through certain measures put in place. Every organization should have written and/or unwritten rules when it comes to managing conflicts among employees since there are bound to be frictions in any place where humans are involved in decision making.
Conflicts and Productivity
How an organization helps to manage conflicts among its workers should first and foremost foster team spirit. This will ensure the productivity of each worker and that of the company. This is why complaints regarding a hostile environment should not be taken lightly. Hostility at the workplace should be reported by an employee. Allowing it to brew can eventually lead to a negative psychological effect on the worker and crush the team spirit necessary for the successful running of any business.
Here are factors to consider when reporting a co-worker’s hostility towards you;
You need to come with evidence of misconduct. It could be a witness or any other thing that can be verified. Without this, it is your word against his and you leave the organization incapable of taking necessary action. The power of your reporting lies in the weight of the evidence you have.
When your organization has a Human Resources Management team that is properly trained, you are meant to report any issue that directly affects your work to that department. It is the responsibility of this department to take up the matter and see to it that things are properly put in order and all issues thoroughly resolved.
As an employee, you should have the interest of the firm at heart; therefore, your complaints should not be colored with malice. That is, do not let the quest for vengeance be the motivating factor for reporting any matter. Motive sometimes has a way of being obvious in situations like this. Pulling down a colleague or colleagues, especially the productive one(s), will do the company no good.
Complaints about a colleague should be after you must have tried other measures to resolve the conflict without any positive result. These other measures, of course, should not be confrontational. They may involve formal and/or informal approaches attempted over a period of time that have yielded no results.
Here are tips on how to communicate the issue of a hostile environment to your boss via email;
Be Properly Introduced
Introduce yourself properly in the email. State your full name, department and job description. Mention any other relevant information, for instance, tally number or company branch, etc. In the appropriate section in your email where you will mention the colleague(s) involved, you should also clearly state their full name(s), department(s), job description(s) etc.
Remember you are writing a formal complaint to the Human Resource Manager or your boss directly. Therefore, ensure your email carries a formal tone in order to receive the necessary response. Even in the event that the Human Resource Manager is your junior in the company hierarchy, the email should still be formal; it is the office you are addressing, not the person.
Be concise, and do not go into lengthy details about each conflict you have experienced in the past if there are any. Also, avoid information that is not relevant to the situation at hand. For example, demanding that colleagues younger that you should show you respect because of your age.
Specify the problem and how it is affecting you and your productivity. Let your case be clear, authentic and verifiable, as noted earlier. If you have had a complaint in the past regarding the same issue, you may need to state it and how long the conflict has been. How the conflict started could give an idea of what exactly is going on. Do not leave this part out.
Be Urgent in Your Plea
Ask your boss or Human Resources Manager to intervene immediately. Delays in matters like this can harm team spirit and the overall productivity of the company. Let the recipient see this fact and be persuaded to take quick action.
Sample Email 1: Communicating the Issue of a Hostile Environment to Your Boss via Email
I hope this email meets you well.
My name is John Dexter Anderson, employee number A150. I am the front desk officer at the Oakland branch of the company. I am the first point of call when customers come through the front door of the office complex.
I will like to bring to your notice the issue of persistent harassment by a colleague, Lynda Smith. He is an administrative officer, responsible for entering clients’ data and transactions. Over the past three months, I have had to deal with constant bickering from her. This started as a result of the differences we had during the event organized by the Administrative Department in September 2016.
The situation got worst last week during the planning committee meeting for the upcoming training program for the new interns. This issue has affected me greatly as I found myself constantly avoiding her even though we are meant to work together on this program.
I will like the management to urgently intervene in this matter. My commitment to the role I have been assigned is paramount to me. I am concerned that if this situation persists, the purpose of the training program may not be realized, besides the negative effect it will have beyond the program.
Thanks in anticipation.
John Dexter Anderson
Sample Email 2: Communicating the Issue of a Hostile Environment to Your Boss via Email
Good Afternoon Madam,
My name is Omar Johnson, an accountant with the company. I am one of the company’s internal auditors.
I had earlier brought to your attention the unresolved issues between me and Mr. Kerry Seth, the senior marketing officer. While I have tried my best to ensure our working relationship remains professional and of mutual respect, I have had to face undue hostility, constant conflict and unnecessary remarks; some of which were quite offensive.
I plead with the management to intervene in this situation as I have done everything I know to make peace. The hostile atmosphere is beginning to frustrate the junior staff members, some of whom have already complained to their supervisors several times about it.
Thank you ma.
Edited by Kelechi Duru