Toxic Work Environments
Posted on October 9, 2012 by Katherine Razzi
When you get a new job the hope of course is that the environment will be positive. Taking a job with a new organization is a big investment as an employee for one’s career and one’s well-being. I always remind friends and family that are interviewing for jobs that the interview is just as much the organization interviewing them as it is an opportunity for them to interview the organization and decide if it will be a good fit and somewhere they will be happy and succeed.
Toxic work environments are one of the most challenging places to work. Some times it is hard to pinpoint what is causing the work environment to be an unwelcoming place, while other times it is easy to pinpoint the cause to a particular employee or group of employees.
A single employee can create a work environment that is unpleasant. All it takes is one person who fails to be a team player or has a personality that is hard to get along with and a work environment may fall apart. I’m sure we can all think of a person that has created this feeling of tension at work. The problem intensifies when the toxic individual is in a position of power such as a manager or supervisor. The workgroup can significantly be damaged.
Groups of toxic employees are another common problem faced in the workplace. As human beings, we tend to associate ourselves with people who think similarly to us. We do this with relationships with each other and also at work. The problem occurs when individual toxic employees group themselves together. For example, if one employee constantly feels negatively about work and the organization and begins talking to another toxic employee, the two may form a toxic group. There is strength in numbers and as groups of toxic employees grow, the work environment can be severely damaged the attitude that spreads throughout the organization.
Have you experienced a toxic work environment? How did you deal with the situation?