Quote from medg
They all gossip to me about other people and sometimes even argue with each other at the job!
No one really talks to me now which is a good & bad thing.
Hmm... these two statements seem to contradict one another. Are you saying that the talks you do have are limited to your coworkers gossiping about other coworkers?
It has been very difficult for me to try to stay away from all the drama surrounding me between my coworkers. They all gossip to me about other people and sometimes even argue with each other at the job! It is very stressful because it seems like nobody likes each other nor get along with each other. There is a lot of smiling in each other's face and ripping them apart verbally and backstabbing.
Management doesn't really do much
The problem with management is that they tell us they have an open door policy & that we can come to them with our problems, but when we do, it actually causes more problems with coworkers.
Claiming to have an open door policy is easy, but I think there are warning signs present that clearly indicate that's just something they say, either because someone took a leadership class or thinks it sounds good. It's not what they say, but rather how they act that's important.
It is easy to gauge the backbone, integrity and professionalism of a leader if you look at the culture of the unit they lead. If
things are as bad as you describe and there really is an inordinate amount of gossiping and backstabbing on your unit, it's not
because management isn't aware. That type of culture only exists if management allows it to
. You could be dealing with a leader who either condones and perhaps even participates in that type of behavior her-/himself, or one who's too weak to confront and discipline the offenders.
In my opinion, there's not enough information in your post to decide if the workplace is truly toxic (in which case my advice would be to leave, because it won't change), or if you're just experiencing some problems settling in and figuring out the dynamics of this particular workplace.
I don't know if you tried to approach your coworkers before you took it to management? I hope you did, because going straight to management without at least trying to solve things first, might affect both how your manager and coworkers view you. If the culture is really rotten, that likely wouldn't have made a difference but in a normal workplace I think that it's always best to try to address problems of the workplace drama variety with the person it concerns, first
. Most of us, myself included and I'm sure you as well, appreciate being given the opportunity to resolve problems, instead of being bypassed and being told by our boss that we did something to annoy a coworker.
So what should you do? Just focus on doing your job to the best of your ability and lend a helping hand to coworkers when they are swamped and you have a minute to spare (hopefully they will reciprocate in kind). Avoid getting entangled in the "gossip sessions" they're having, and of course don't gossip yourself (I'm not saying that you currently are, this is just general advice).
Personally I usually just walk away from the coworkers that I encounter gossiping. I actually detest gossip, probably because I value people who have the guts to confront problems or differences of opinion head-on. I do realize that gossip isn't always malign or vicious, but can sometimes serve as a way to socialize and bond within a group. Despite that though, it still annoys me.
The only times I've chosen to confront gossips is when I felt that their gossip risked harming another person's career/livelihood or when there were signs of systematic malicious targeting of a specific individual.
Good luck OP!