Toxic work cultures start with incivility and mediocre leadership. What can you do about it?
Updated: Jun 27
Defining a toxic work environment can be tricky because many traits can make it so and because the same environment can have different effects on people based on their work history, triggers, and working styles, among other factors.
Toxic workplaces often have apparent signs to watch out for—including bad bosses, gaslighting and other unhealthy behaviors, cliques, and exclusion. The effects of a toxic work environment are more than just having bad days. It drains happiness and dampens excitement at work. People start to avoid toxic colleagues so they do not have to deal with their complex personalities and often feel frustrated and annoyed at every situation. Worst of all, a toxic work culture will impede an employee's potential when they could offer so much more.
To create a better employee experience and improve engagement and retention, management must recognize the signs of a toxic workplace to combat the negativity. Grievances may or may not surface, but the ideal scenario is that the victim does speak up, and they are properly heard & the matter is addressed to retain good employees. Employees in a toxic work environment may be nervous about speaking their minds, raising concerns, or sharing thoughts because they are worried about being rejected or reprimanded.
It might not take a lot to hire a good employee, but what's more critical is talent retention efforts. A toxic work culture and an inadequate grievance procedure would be an express ticket to them giving up very quickly.