Recognizing That Toxic Work Place

A toxic environment in a work place or business is never good for the people working in it and for the clients patronizing it.

Many a time it is an issue that is not addressed because “it has always been that way” or no one wants to rock the boat.

To help you navigate and deal with a toxic work culture you must recognize the toxicity which can be in the form of

Them and Us

Many work places have a hierarchy and rules of engagement. However, this does not mean that some people should be more important than others. Much as people should know their place being sidelined is never a good thing.

When in a work place some people feel they are being left out or ignored by their bosses or peers this does not make for a good work environment. Not all jobs or positions are made equal but human beings are. So, if there is a rift between people at work this is not a good environment.

People in a work place should be comfortable around each other and feel part of a whole.

Bad and Rude

When people in the work place are rude to each other, tolerate bad behaviour and are almost proud about how badly they can behave. This is never good. It makes for a bad work place and will eventually decrease in a worker’s creativity and effort and worse, will lead to bad customer service or outright rudeness to clients.

Bad or rude behaviour is destructive for everyone. More so to the business.

Bullying and Harassing

Bullying is not only limited to bosses, but peers, subordinates, and colleagues and it can come disguised and be dressed up as friendly banter. The joke does not hide the fact that it is laden with words of criticism and blame. And because people laugh about it all the time (even the person being bullied) does not make it alright.

When one person is being overly criticized, policed and made to feel inadequate and not belonging-it is not ok. They are,in fact, being harassed.

You may think of harassment as only relating to sexual harassment, but it can take on many forms and avenues. Jokes that use race, language, gender, religion, age, physical abilities or lack off, social status and levels of education are every day fodder for comedic banter but, there is a thin line. That line once crossed can demoralize the victim and may well put the company at legal risk.

Fortunately, many work places have human resource departments that take care of many of these toxic behaviours so as to protect the company and individuals. And do try to lessen toxic behavior in general through helping people get to know each other via clubs, social gatherings and team-building activities.

Kwachalelo

A Zambian site sharing quick read articles around work, money and adulting life with selective interviews and quotes.
The founder, editor and lead writer who left university with a good grasp of public administration, economics, money, banking and international relations is also qualified in journalism and creative writing. She has been published in Drum and The BBC Focus on Africa Magazine and has been featured in several local and international publications.
An avid bird watcher with an extraordinary fondness for chikanda ( a Zambian delicatessen that vegans and non-vegans world-wide are putting on their bucket list ) she often tweets in poetry and short prose @kwachalelo