Avoiding a toxic work culture

Get a free consultation
Health Assured Logo

Health Assured team

01 October 2018

A toxic work culture covers a broad range of human behaviours and physical environments, that are easy to miss. In fact, people stuck in a toxic workplace often don’t actually realise it.


In regards to workplace environments, few employers notice there’s a growing danger of developing a toxic workplace culture, until it is too late.


Toxic work environments can cause detrimental effects to your business, they include:

- Collapsed morale

- Lack of productivity

- High employee turnover

- Reduced business success


This guidance will cover what measures organisations can take to help prevent a toxic culture from developing within your workplace:


Employee behaviour

One of the first places to look, and one of the likeliest to reveal elements of a toxic culture, is observing how your employees behave.


Bullying and harassment creates a distressing working environment, but it is not always obvious. For example, a type of aggression that crosses the line but gets shrugged off as “banter.”


Ensure you have a zero tolerance approach to bullying and harassment, and introduce mandatory training for al employees that explains your company’s stance.


To stop such toxic behaviours, it’s vital to have reliable grievance or harassment procedures so that you can address complaints in a compliant and professional manner.


Manage workloads

High workloads, unrealistic expectations, and pressure from managers can be root causes of a toxic workplace culture.


Combat this by reviewing your team’s workload and look to share the work out evenly. If you employ managers, encourage them to watch out for struggling employees and give them the support they need.


Reducing excessive workloads gives you a great chance of keeping staff stress levels low and productivity high.


Think healthy

Embrace your responsibility to the physical and mental wellbeing of your staff. Make sure that you have policies that outline your organisation’s commitment to offering support during times of ill health.



If you can articulate your organisation’s core values and beliefs during your employee search, you will have greater success avoiding employees who will contribute towards a toxic atmosphere at work.


Proactive prevention

To avoid opportunities for a toxic workplace culture developing, take proactive steps towards creating a happy and positive working environment.

Start with inexpensive perks like healthy snacks, a team meal or even financial incentives for top-performing staff. In some circumstances, it doesn’t take a big gesture to boost morale, so it doesn’t need to be expensive.


Encourage an open office culture

In some circumstances, employees can be hesitant to approach senior members of staff with complaints.


Whilst boundaries are important in maintaining professional relationships between managers and staff members, it can be hugely beneficial for your organisation to encourage open communication within the workplace.


By keeping the lines of communication open and fostering a collaborative work culture, you can turn a potential toxic workplace into a dynamic environment where employees are happy, motivated, and love what they do.


What’s the outcome?

By following the advice listed in this guidance, you will have a stronger chance of keeping your organisation, and your people, in a happier, healthier and more productive mind-set.



If you would like to find out more information on any of the topics mentioned in this article, please contact Health Assured on:

0844 892 2493.

Make your enquiry

Please complete the form below and we'll be in touch to answer your enquiry

Book a place on this workshop

Get a free consultation

Please complete the form and we'll be in touch to schedule your free consultation

An error occurred

We appologise but an error has occurred submitting your form. Please try again.