Workplace toxicity is a serious issue that can have far-reaching damaging effects and is best addressed quickly. In order to identify the signs of such toxicity, it is important to be cognizant and mindful of the environment, peoples’ attitudes and behaviours.
The first and most obvious sign of a toxic workplace is an overtly negative atmosphere. An excessively strict hierarchical system, or negative management style from leaders and supervisors, can lead to tensions between co-workers and establish an intimidating environment. Frequent incidents of physical and verbal aggression, bullying, and aggression towards certain groups or individuals are indicative of a toxic culture of workplace, as well as general hostility. Similarly, any kind of undermining or blocking of co-workers’ efforts to excel is evidence of dysfunction.
When tension is high, patience usually go out the door despite any professionalism. It is almost like some workplaces are just waiting to attack someone – staff or management. And poor management never has the skills to effectively work with that tension among workers. The workers usually receive the short end of the stick in some sort of disciplinary method.
Unreasonable expectations from management, such as unrealistic deadlines intimidating
and workloads, lead to increased stress, and can manifest as lower morale and diminished job satisfaction. Additionally, a lack of recognition or reward for hard work can further disincentivize employees, leading to a decline in job performance. A reduced sense of trust, a feeling of exclusion, and an overall lack of communication between workers and managers are further signs of a toxic work environment.
Now, there has been an alarming growing trend that has not only been contributing to toxic workplaces but also starting to appear to be the main cause. The concept of micromanaging has only increased in the last 15 years. Micromanaging is a control based form of management that over scrutinizes the every move of the employee, sometime to the point of even video surveillance of the employees. This management style is usually fear based on the idea that the employee cannot be trusted and is out to steal from or destroy the business or institution.
The trend is so alarming because now we are even seeing the trend in our elected governments as they try to control the very people that voted them in. Thus push is obviously coming from top down.
Some may surmise that the micromanage movement is here because the millennial age group and younger need the extra guidance. Although their work ethic is very different, I find it hard to fully accept that as most facilities would just recognize the older worker as being more efficient until the younger ones could be fully trained.
Regardless, this control based method of management leads to extreme workplace toxicity. It is usually never dealt with and good employees usually leave.
In my practice I have worked with many toxic work place situations. For the most part, I am not directly able to diffuse the situation for them however, both building blocks, good stress management techniques and working on the “fear of going to work” concept through the Natural Energetics technique, we can often prepare the client to be able to deflect those negative energies much more appropriately. If you are struggling in this area, book a Free NB Discovery discovery session to learn more.
Ultimately, it is necessary to make conscious efforts to foster a positive and inclusive environment in the workplace. To ensure such an atmosphere, it is important to consistently promote and reward productive and creative attitudes and behaviours, encourage open dialogue between all staff members, and create an atmosphere of professional support within the workplace.