The Small Business Times

Toxic Workplace Cultures Can Harm Employee Welfare and Wellbeing

Workplaces should be a place where employees can feel safe and comfortable. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. In some workplaces, a toxic culture can harm employee welfare and well-being. This can lead to decreased productivity, job satisfaction, and mental and physical health problems.

In a death of company cultures infographic, almost 55% of respondents said they would leave their job if their company did not value great workplace culture. This is a significant number and it shows just how important a healthy workplace culture is to employees.

Every workplace will be different but could toxic workplace cultures really be a contributing factor to the Great Resignation in the UK? 

What Could be Considered a Toxic Workplace Culture and Why Do They Exist?

Toxic workplace cultures can be defined as environments where negative behaviours are tolerated or encouraged. Toxic workplaces often exist because employers do not set clear boundaries or expectations for employee behaviour. They may also exist because employees feel like they have to put up with bad behaviour to keep their job.

Toxic workplace cultures can hurt employee productivity, job satisfaction, and mental and physical health. If you work in a toxic workplace culture, it is important to identify the problem and take steps to improve the situation. Employers can also help create a more positive work environment by following simple tips.

According to a report by Culture Shift, toxic workplace culture is characterised by fear, bullying, and harassment. This environment can exist in any workplace but is more likely to occur in places with a hierarchical structure and a lack of transparency. Toxic cultures can also develop when employees are not given enough support or feel like they are not valued.

The Effects of a Toxic workplace Culture on Employees

Toxic workplace culture can have several negative effects on employees. These effects can include:

Decreased Productivity

Employees subjected to a bad workplace culture are often less productive than those who are not. This is because the destructive behaviour that is going on around them may distract them, or they may be worried about being the next target of the toxicity.

Job Satisfaction

Employees who work in an unhappy environment are often less satisfied with their jobs than those who do not. This is because they may feel like they have to put up with inappropriate behaviour to keep their job. They may also feel like their employer does not care about them or their well-being.

Mental and Physical Health Problems

Toxic workplace cultures can lead to increased stress levels, which can‌ lead to mental and physical health problems. Employees may also develop anxiety or depression because of the toxicity.

Increased Absenteeism

Employees who work in a toxic environment are often more likely to take time off from work because of the stress that they are under. This can lead to decreased productivity and increased costs for the company.

Turnover

Employees who work in a toxic environment are often more likely to leave their job than those who do not. This is because they may feel like they have no other choice but to leave to protect their mental and physical health.

How to Identify If You work in a Toxic Workplace Culture 

Maybe you feel like you’re always being micromanaged, or your colleagues constantly gossiping and backstabbing.

Whatever the case may be, negative behaviours and attitudes characterise toxic workplace culture. If you’re feeling stressed, anxious, or just ‌unhappy at work, it might be a sign that you’re working in a toxic environment. Here are some other signs to look out for:

  • You don’t feel like you can be yourself.
  • You feel like you’re always being watched or monitored.
  • You feel like your colleagues are constantly trying to one-up each other.
  • You feel like your work is never good enough.
  • You feel like you can’t take a break without being judged.
  • You are considering leaving your job.

If you are experiencing any of these signs, it is important to talk to your employer about the problem. It is also important to remember that you may leave a company if you dislike their workplace culture, particularly if it is negatively affecting your mental or physical health.

Tips for Creating a Positive Workplace Culture

  • Setting clear boundaries and expectations for employee behaviour: Employers should set clear boundaries and expectations for employee behaviour. This will help to prevent toxic behaviour from occurring‌.
  • Encouraging positive behaviour: Employers should encourage positive behaviours such as respect, teamwork, and communication. This will help to create a more positive work environment.
  • Creating an open and inclusive culture: Employers should create an open and inclusive culture where all employees feel like they belong. This will help to prevent toxic behaviour from occurring.
  • Addressing problems early: Employers should address any problems that arise early. This will help to prevent the problem from getting worse and becoming toxic.

Conclusion

In conclusion, a negative workplace culture can negatively impact employee welfare and well-being. From increased stress levels to decreased job satisfaction, these effects can significantly harm employees.

Organisations need to be aware of the signs of toxic workplace culture and take steps to address them. By creating a healthier workplace culture, organisations can improve employee welfare and well-being and increase productivity and effectiveness.