How to Combat Workplace Toxicity


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According to an American Psychological Association study, the toxicity in the workplace is both increasing and affecting the mental health of all employees. In the last two decades, toxicity in the workplace has contributed to the increased rates of various health issues, including substance abuse and depression, according to a different study from Sweden. Put simply, a toxic workplace isn’t healthy or pleasant for workers, and unfortunately, most employees have very few options, with one of the popular choices is looking for a different workplace. Fortunately, companies are perfectly capable of handling toxic workplaces and mitigating the stress that employees might be feeling as a result.


Even when it seems like most of the people in a workplace are toxic in different ways, the odds are that there are at least a handful of people with the mindset that things can still change. These are the people that have a positive mindset and can help companies create an overall positive work environment. When an employee notices that one of their coworkers is facing similar issues to their own, they should try figuring out how that coworker is feeling about the situation they’re finding themselves in, but without gossiping about it. When that employee establishes that they might be on the same page with their coworker, they will be able to communicate about the problem and find different solutions, which contributes to creating a more positive work environment.


One of the biggest problems that many employees have is that they have higher-ups that tend to micromanage their workplace. The problem with micromanagers is that they tend to put two very basic human needs against each other. The first need is the need to control, and the second one is the need for people to have autonomy. To be able to navigate this type of tension, employees need to start building trust. That means the employees won’t be able to get more autonomy until their managers start feeling more certain about the work that the employees are doing. To gain more trust employees have to provide their managers with the things they need, which means providing them with more inclusion, information, as well as control. Resisting their needs, or not being open about the details of the work can only make the situation worse. That means employees should try anticipating the needs of their managers and learn more about their expectations. This way, they can proactively address any of their expectations and needs, which ends up removing the need for them to start micromanaging the workplace. Additionally, employees should be communicating openly and clearly to keep everyone informed, including giving them status, progress reports, and regular updates throughout the workday.

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