· Tricia Tan  · 7 min read

Employee Retention: Eliminating Toxicity In the Workplace

We’ve all had our fair share of bad Mondays, even hard weeks, and some disappointing months. But, unfortunately, that’s just what having a job is like—it’s never going to be rainbows and sunshine all throughout.

However, you can usually get through a tough Monday, make it through a tough week, and take something positive away from a poor quarter.

But if all these difficulties hit you every day without a break, then the issue is no longer with you.

Your workplace may be reeking of toxicity.

Red flags are piled on top of each other. It’s a manager who uses passive aggression or insensitive remarks made by your coworkers about the guy you replaced. It has fewer, or none at all, boundaries.

It uses mansplaining, gaslighting, and microaggressions, and it’s easily the worst relationship of your life magnified ten times.

Toxic workplaces generate conflict, rivalry, low morale, ongoing stress, negativity, illness, and even bullying. What’s worse? Your company most likely suffers from a very high turnover rate.

You’re probably seeing people leave faster than you can say we’re hiring. And that’s just bad from all angles.

The thing about toxicity is that it should and can be eliminated. So we’ve outlined some steps below to ensure you get rid of this negativity once and for all.

Why a toxic workplace is no good

While some firms may initially consider it a beneficial strategy to put outcomes and performance ahead of people, the costs associated with fostering toxic work environments rise with time.

1. Toxic company culture increases employee turnover

According to Harvard Business School research, 80% of employees have missed work because of worrying about toxic coworkers, 78% say their dedication to their jobs has decreased due to their unhealthy behavior, and 66% believe their performance has suffered.

When your employees feel like there’s no light at the end of the tunnel, chances are they’ll hand in their resignations without batting an eye.

2. Toxic workplaces diminish trust, which reduces communication effectiveness

According to a study, 30% of employees claim their manager doesn’t support an environment that values open and honest communication, and one-third of employees claim their manager lacks leadership skills.

Sixty percent of employees claim they left their organizations due to their managers.

3. Toxic culture raises stress levels

Over 11 million working days are lost annually as a result of stress at work, which can potentially exacerbate illnesses like anxiety or depression.

In short, employees in toxic work environments produce lower-quality work, engage less in their work, and have lower morale and motivation.

They lose interest in their work, arrive later and leave earlier, are more likely to experience burnout, and grow increasingly dissatisfied with their jobs, employers, and possibly even their lives.

How does toxicity start?

When the psychological contract of a company’s employees is broken, toxicity frequently starts.

It might begin right away if a new employee shows there full of optimism and drive only to learn that the job description or the company culture they were told was false.

Or it may happen over time, as confidence in the organization erodes.

Even when employers have the best intentions, toxic workplaces can develop as a result of employees becoming increasingly dissatisfied, which feeds a festering pool of unhappiness.

When this occurs, it’s frequently because employees once shared the company’s mission, but their beliefs shifted over time.

If a high-ranking employee who doesn’t care about other people’s feelings ascends to the top, a poisonous work atmosphere may also develop.

They put outcomes above all else because they don’t understand the significance of motivation theory or its effects. As a result, human relationships start to suffer, as do employee relationships.

A toxic work environment can also arise when unhealthy competition for resources exists. For example, employees may be vying for help like money, time, overworked team members, or even the manager’s time or attention.

Psychological safety begins to erode when this occurs.

How HR can eliminate workplace toxicity

One thing that all high-performing teams have in common is psychological safety. This is “the confidence that mistakes won’t be punished.”

Companies that support innovation try to foster a culture of creativity, also referred to as a freedom-to-fail culture, since they understand that a toxic culture is the enemy of invention.

By doing the following, HR can take proactive measures to assist in locating, addressing, and resolving the underlying causes of a toxic work environment:

1. Addressing the elephant in the room

Nip toxicity in the bud by asking questions.

Find the root of the toxic behavior by trying to pinpoint it. Is it an individual? A division? Or more broadly dispersed?

Work with the staff to comprehend their issues, accept them, and come up with potential solutions.

You can also consider if persistently toxic individuals can be trained and motivated or whether they would require termination for the benefit of the business.

2. Be genuine in your offer of work-life balance

Work-life balance is a critical component of employee retention for businesses; it can enhance workers’ physical and emotional well-being and commitment to their jobs.

Employers are required by law to maintain a safe and healthy work environment, and they are also required to take action if their staff members are overburdened with work.

Provide flexible hours to employees so they may work with focus and efficiency.

Set reasonable due dates and workloads. Every person has a unique capacity for task execution; thus, pushing them beyond their comfort zones can lead to stress, anxiety, and burnout.

Companies that support employees taking time off and advise work-life balance for workers foster a solid and fruitful working relationship.

3. Get rid of unhealthy competition

It is normal to have healthy competition, and can assist a company’s growth. However, hostile competition might harm your business and cause it to regress.

Unhealthy competition can develop when achievement is valued. Performance should be prioritized, but it should also be evaluated on a personal basis.

Leaders don’t want their team members to feel bad about one another.

Managers must also take their responsibility as mentors and motivators for staff seriously. To prevent mistrust, enforce essential principles throughout the entire hierarchical structure.

4. Acknowledge milestones and rockstars

Employees who are not properly credited for their efforts soon cease giving them all since they know no one is interested in their dedication and diligence.

Organizations should prioritize honesty, and work claims should be verified. In addition, employers should highlight employee contributions to a project and assignment and praise the individuals who work hard for your firm.

It is a fantastic gesture to encourage honesty within the crew. In addition, recognizing individuals who appreciate their teammates’ efforts is another admirable act.

5. Utilize an HR solution

The thing about a toxic workplace is that it often happens without the HR or higher-ups’ knowledge.

Think about how a bully operates—they are very covert. As a result, their victims suffer in silence.

The question is, why can’t the higher-ups or your HR department see what’s happening on the ground? Chances are because they’re also very much swamped with administrative and operational tasks.

But what happens when you free up your HR department from all these tasks?

When you give them back the time so they can fully address human operations, improve what needs to be done, and create strategies to keep employees satisfied and happy?

Then toxicity won’t foster—your HR department has all the time in its hands to ensure that.

How Hezum can help detoxify the workspace

As a complete HR solution for small to medium-sized businesses, Hezum can free up your HR department’s time so they can focus on what truly matters—your employees’ welfare.

It unifies the HR IT ecosystem on a shared platform. As a result, Hezum increases the accuracy of people and performance analytics with fewer errors, duplications, and other inconsistencies.

For employees, it eases the friction in carrying out HR functions because you can get onboarded and trained in one platform. You also don’t have to switch apps to get access to HR docs or request time off.

It’s an all-in-one, easy-to-use, and intuitive platform that enhances the employee experience for everyone in the company.

To summarize

A toxic work environment is unfortunate, but it can be resolved. By letting your human resources stay on top of all things related to employee satisfaction and welfare, such negativity and unproductiveness won’t thrive.

Are you excited to nurture a culture rooted in transparency, collaboration, and respect? Hezum can help you get started. All you have to do is visit our website today.

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