Are your employees set to leave their jobs due to poor workplace culture?


In the wake of recent reports on toxic workplaces from big brands, recent research shows nearly one-third of employees are willing to leave their jobs due to poor workplace culture.

Toxic workplace culture can cost businesses serious money, raising turnover rates and a damaging reputation. More employees are speaking out about hostile workplace environments, and the act of ‘outing’ companies has become far more common.

A recent report by BreatheHR revealed that more employees are leaving their jobs at SMEs due to poor workplace culture. This has risen from 21% in 2020 to 27% (nearly one-third) in 2021.

Collecting data and insights, Lucinda Pullinger, Global Head of HR & Talent at Instant Offices discusses why it is crucial than ever for businesses to create an inclusive and empowering workplace environment for their employees.

Biggest Signs of a Toxic Workplace

Here are some tell-tale signs to watch out for in the workplace – these could be symptoms of a deeper problem with the company culture as a whole.

  • Constant interpersonal conflicts
  • Lack of teamwork and camaraderie
  • Pointing fingers and blaming others when something goes wrong
  • Poor problem-solving as a team
  • Exclusive cliques or social groups
  • Office gossip
  • Work awarded based on personal connections rather than skill
  • Poor communication and lack of clarity around projects
  • Inconsistent communication and mixed messages
  • Unhappy, demotivated workers
  • High turnover rate
  • Stifled/ stagnated career progression
  • Lack of work-life balance

Jobseekers can research a brand’s track record and get a feel for the type of culture they foster:

  • Look at company reviews from present and past employees on reputable platforms like Glassdoor.
  • Monitor their turnover rate over a period of several months and see how it compares to the industry average.
  • Research how diverse the company is. Find out how many people in senior positions are women or from a BAME background.
  • Pay attention to how they communicate with you and with each other.

Keeping Toxicity Out of your Company’s Culture

Even a small pocket of negativity or toxicity can spread far enough to “infect” an entire company. Once a toxic trend is spotted, it’s important to address it as soon as possible, so it can be stopped. The team at Instant Offices provided these tips below:

  • Lead by example – behave the way you want to see your employees behave. That includes maintaining a positive attitude, and holding yourself accountable for mistakes the same as you would a subordinate.
  • Treat every employee with dignity and respect, regardless of their position or seniority.
  • Don’t play favourites, and don’t scapegoat or alienate any employee or group of employees.
  • Make sure all management is properly trained on what makes a diverse and inclusive workplace.
  • Ensure that all employees are properly trained on what constitutes bullying, harassment and discrimination in the workplace.
  • Provide training that empowers managers to handle internal conflicts.
  • Keep communication channels open for mutual feedback between employees and management.
  • Encourage constructive feedback and create an environment where criticism can be shared without fear of “punishment”.
  • Make sure your employees know that it’s safe to speak up.
  • Recognise and reward your employees’ efforts.
  • Promote employees based on skill, not just on likeability.
  • Foster an environment of open, constructive communication.