How do you know if your culture is toxic?

Following reports of every employee at Leigh Town Council in England making complaints about bullying and aggressive behaviour from senior officials, trade unions are warning of toxic working environments causing crippling absence levels, affecting productivity and creating a situation where recruitment is almost impossible. 

The number of claims lodged in the Employment Tribunal containing allegations of bullying has increased 44% from 581 to a record high of 835 in the past 12 months and may be a signal that  businesses are failing to recognise that they might have a toxic work culture.

Some of this has been put down to the increase in virtual working environments, with face to face communication reducing. Leaving colleagues out of communication, remote meetings and using messaging apps to gossip about colleagues have all been cited as bullying behaviours more prevalent in a remote working environment.

A toxic workplace can lead to loss of talent and negatively impact employees’ performance with those being bullied likely to be less productive than their colleagues.

In order to tackle such behaviour, changes must be made at an organisational level, encouraging more effective and varied methods of communication, providing training and guidelines to managers on providing feedback, to avoid misinterpretation. 

Employers must also be willing to thoroughly train managers to enforce company policies to protect and support colleagues at risk, if workplace cultures are to be improved. 121 HR Solutions is running an Essential Skills for Managers workshop on 16th January in Montrose and the 17th January in Glasgow.  Click here to book:  Event Bookings | 121HR Solutions – Glasgow

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