Toxic work culture - What you need to know

Memory Nguwi / Posted On: 29 April 2022 / Updated On: 28 September 2022 / Organisational Development / 215

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Toxic work culture - What you need to know



Toxic work culture is a workplace environment that encourages employees to behave in a certain way. This can create an environment where employees aren’t encouraged to be their best, which can lead to poor job performance. One example of a toxic culture is the inappropriate use of sexist, racist, or otherwise offensive language. This can create a hostile environment that is extremely difficult to work in.

 

There’s no denying that working in a toxic work environment can be challenging. However, research has found that toxic work environments aren’t just difficult to work in; they’re also harmful to an employee’s mental and physical health. This is largely due to the stress that comes with working in a toxic environment.  In a study of more than 5,000 employees, employees who reported having a “toxic culture” at their jobs were over twice as likely to report experiencing stress and over five times as likely to report experiencing depression than employees who reported a “supportive culture.”


Workplace cultures can make or break an employee’s productivity. They can also have a significant impact on an employee’s well-being. In a study of more than 5,000 employees, employees who reported experiencing a “toxic culture” at their jobs were over twice as likely to report experiencing stress and over five times as likely to report experiencing depression than employees who reported a “supportive culture.” In another study of more than 300 employees, employees who reported having a “toxic” workplace culture were significantly more likely to say that their job performance had suffered as

 

Workplaces can have a “toxic culture,” which is when certain behaviors and attitudes become so common that they become accepted as the norm. This can make it difficult for employees to feel like they have the support they need to do their best work. The workplace culture may be particularly challenging for employees who are part of a minority group or who have a disability. These employees may have a harder time hearing “no” when they need time to take care of themselves or when they need assistance with a task that is essential to their job.

 

Toxic work cultures are often characterized by emotional or verbal aggression, which can make it difficult to perform your best work. This kind of environment can also create a constant feeling of stress and anxiety, which can have a negative impact on your mental and physical health. In a study of more than 500 employees, employees at a bank that was associated with a financial services company that had a “toxic environment,” were significantly more likely to say their job performance had suffered because of the culture than employees at a bank that was associated with a financial services company that had a “supportive environment.”

 

 

Employees who work in cultures that are toxic to their mental and physical health are less likely to be their best selves at work. This is because a culture that encourages unhealthy behaviors is one that is difficult to escape from when you are already feeling stressed out. A toxic work environment can also have a negative impact on an employee’s performance. In a study of more than 500 employees, employees at a bank that was associated with a financial services company that had a “toxic environment,” were significantly more likely to say their job performance had suffered because of the culture than employees at a bank that was associated with a financial services company that had a “supportive environment.”

 

In another study of more than 300 employees, employees who reported having a “toxic” workplace culture were significantly more likely to say that their job performance had suffered because of the culture than employees who reported a “supportive culture.” In a study of more than 5,000 employees, employees who reported experiencing a “toxic culture” at their jobs were over twice as likely to report experiencing stress and over five times as likely to report experiencing depression than employees who reported a “supportive culture.”              

 

One way that employees can avoid working in toxic work culture is to identify the behaviors and attitudes that make them feel uncomfortable being themselves at work. This can be a difficult process, but it’s important to try to identify the warning signs of a toxic culture so that you can take steps to avoid being a victim. You can also ask your manager to help you identify the behaviors that are detrimental to healthy workplace culture. This may be easier if your manager shares your same background or experiences so that they can identify the behaviors from a personal perspective.


It can be difficult to know if a work culture is toxic. But there are a few warning signs that can help you determine if a work environment is unhealthy. It’s difficult to know if a particular work culture is toxic without first identifying what traits make up a healthy work culture. However, there are a few signs that can help determine if a work environment is healthy or toxic.

 

One of the first signs that a work culture may be toxic is when employees are being treated differently based on their race, gender, sexual orientation, religion, or disability. This is a clear sign that work culture is not accepting of all employees and is, therefore, a culture that is harmful. If you feel like you’re being treated differently at work, it’s a good idea to speak with a trusted manager or HR. If you feel like there’s a toxic culture at your job, it’s a good idea to speak with your managers and HR as well so that you can begin to create a healthier environment at work.

 

If you feel like you’re constantly walking on eggshells at work, or like you can’t bring your whole self to work, it’s possible that your workplace culture is toxic. Healthy workplace culture is one that’s accepting of all employees and encourages them to be themselves.

 

How do you respond to a toxic work culture? Toxic work cultures are difficult to navigate, but learning how to respond appropriately can help you feel more confident and in control when you’re at work. The best response to toxic work culture is to speak up if you feel uncomfortable. This can prevent you from being a victim and can also help to create a more productive workplace environment.

 

If you feel like you’re in a toxic work environment, the first step is to determine how you’ll handle the situation. This may mean that you need to identify which behaviors make you feel uncomfortable and try to avoid those situations. You can also work to identify the characteristics of healthy work culture so that you can model those behaviors at work. For example, you may feel more comfortable expressing your opinions when you work in a culture that is accepting of different opinions, instead of a culture that emphasizes harmony at all costs.

 

Memory Nguwi is an Occupational Psychologist, Data Scientist, Speaker, & Managing Consultant- Industrial Psychology Consultants (Pvt) Ltd, a management and human resources consulting firm.Email:[email protected] or visit our websites https://www.thehumancapitalhub.com/ and  www.ipcconsultants.com


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