Toxic workplace and unfair treatment?

Unfair treatment in the workplace can rear its ugly head in many ways. Be it through outright bullying, favouritism or unnecessary criticism, such behaviours can make work extremely unpleasant and even, take a mental and emotional toll on the one who is being victimised.

No one deserves to tolerate unfair treatment. So, if you’ve been feeling discontent with the toxic behaviours at work and feel that you are potentially being treated unfairly, here are some things you can do to stop it:

1. Keep a record

Start taking note of such unfair incidents happening and try to be as detailed as possible. Take note of the date, time and place, as well as who was involved and what exactly unfolded. This allows you to be specific and clear, especially when you raise your grievances to the official channels later on.

This can also help you keep track of the severity and frequency of such incidents happening, which can help you discern whether what happened was a one-off incident or a recurring issue.

2. Talk to a trusted individual

 This could be a fellow colleague, your supervisor or someone from the Human Resources (HR) department. Not only can they be a great source of comfort and a listening ear, but they can also help you to make sense of your current situation and direct you to the right channels to raise your concerns.

Getting an outsider’s opinion can also help you in deciding the severity of the situation. They can also validate your claims if they have seen you being treated unfairly firsthand.

3. Approach your union for help

If you cannot find someone within your organisation, going to your union is another option!

Unions are a good place for you not only to get support, but to receive helpful advice if you are being discriminated against. They also serve as a place to approach if you feel that your company’s grievance-handling policies are not sufficient or if they are not taking your claims seriously.

In Singapore, workers can approach organisations like NTUC, which champion workers’ interests and protecting workers’ rights. With their wide network of professional associations and partners across all sectors locally, getting the right help is even more possible!

4. Raise your concerns to the official channels

 At the end of the day, it is important to still go through the official channels to make it known within the company and to do your due diligence. Many organisations have put grievance channels in place for such circumstances and they act as spaces for employees to raise their concerns and dissatisfactions.

Upon employment, your workplace should have provided you with a written policy on how it navigates such incidents. You can refer to this to guide you on the next steps to take, which may include speaking to your manager or a HR representative.

While work isn’t always the most smooth sailing, it shouldn’t come to the point where it makes you distressed or uncomfortable.

Everyone deserves to be treated with respect and come to a happy, non-toxic workplace every day. So, if you are going through something like this, do not hesitate to speak up and get help!