Wellbeing | Almost 50% of UK staff say toxic work environments impact their mental health

Almost 50% of UK staff say toxic work environments impact their mental health

In the current candidate-driven talent market, both attracting and retaining staff is a key concern. To prevent high turnover, HR should be ensuring that corporate culture is positive and welcoming, yet new data from Culture Shift has discovered that many may be failing in this goal.

In fact, the data determined that 42% of workers believe toxic workplace culture has negatively impacted their mental health, whilst one third have felt silenced on issues that matter to them in the workplace.

A worrying 29% have also taken time off due to an incident work such as bullying, harassment, discrimination or sexual misconduct. A further 41% confirmed bad workplace culture has impacted their productivity, and 42% have previously left a job due to negative workplace culture.

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Not only is poor corporate culture affecting workers within their current roles – in fact the data found that two thirds believed it affected their confidence and ability to find a new job, 67% suffered from anxiety as a direct result of workplace bullying and 71% have actually had to seek out therapy due to an issue they experienced at work.

Almost three quarters of respondents admitted that they have called in sick due to not wanting to see somebody they have a negative relationship with at work, such as a colleague or manager.

How can HR prevent a toxic culture?

It’s important for HR and employers to consider how to keep toxicity out of their organisation. According to research by Instant Offices, there are several ways to go about this.

For instance, leading by example and behaving in the same way that you would want employees to behave is one way to achieve a more positive culture.

“That includes maintaining a positive attitude, and holding yourself accountable for mistakes the same as you would a subordinate,” the firm advised.

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Elsewhere, the research noted that it’s important to ensure that all managers are properly trained on what makes a diverse and inclusive workplace.

Good and clear communication channels that are open for mutual feedback from staff and managers can also help with this.

In addition, ensuring that staff know that it’s safe to speak up, and treating the workforce with dignity and respect, regardless of position or rank, were also identified as ways to achieve a better culture.

Lastly, the team said it’s important to recognise and reward employees for their hard efforts.

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