We asked the industry: What is the most toxic thing that can happen in a workplace?
Ali Rez, Chief Creative Officer at Impact BBDO
There are two kinds of fear in a workplace. The positive kind is when you feel slightly out of your comfort zone and thus motivated to build bigger and better things – this kind helps one grow tremendously.
But the opposite of that is the negative kind of fear, which I feel is the most toxic thing in a workplace: when you fear for your growth, when you fear for your personal well-being, when you fear your colleagues or bosses, when you fear speaking up or challenging viewpoints, when you fear that the job is a dead end.
There should be zero room for this kind of toxic, negative fear in a workplace: a healthy and productive work environment is one that embodies a culture of fearlessness in its collaboration and creativity.
Noor Ul Ain, Marketing Executive at Babyshop, Landmark Group
To not receive credit for your hard work. It’s heartbreaking to see when someone else gets praise for small daily tasks; for example, highlighting cells on an Excel sheet, even if it’s not something they did but that you did instead.
When someone who’s not solely driven by monetary rewards is not valued or there’s a lack of appreciation, especially when it comes to juggling multiple tasks, it ends up impacting [you] in a negative manner and leads to low self-confidence.
It’s quite unfortunate but, as you grow up, you realize that’s the reality of the world, where you must be your own cheerleader and highlight your work.
Stephanie Dafeta, Junior Account Manager at Atteline
Workplace toxicity is such a strong term and one I imagine no company wants to be associated with.
I have been fortunate enough not to have worked at a place that fosters such a culture [but] I think that the most toxic thing that can happen in a workplace is for a company (and its people) to forget or not place enough emphasis on the importance of culture. The most important things I look for when working with anyone, not just a company, are values that are actioned, not just talked about.
I thrive in situations where respect is paramount, ethics are top-tier, inclusivity is at its core, and growth at any level is heavily championed. And luckily, I work at a company that encompasses these values in its culture and the team, and so much more.
Chelly Megale, Head of People at VMLY&R MENA
Lack of respect. A respectful workplace is a conscious workplace. Understanding how employees are treated in their day-to-day is key to any business, in any industry. A lack of understanding and respect for each other can lead to a lack of inclusivity and difficult work relationships, and ultimately affect the company culture. If we don’t maintain a level of respect with one another, employees lose focus and have high levels of stress, anxiety, or excessive tension, which ultimately can lead to poor business performance and quite considerable demotivation.
It’s important employees have professional boundaries and keep open lines of communication both with their team and their line managers to help foster a respectful environment. I personally believe it is important for People/HR teams and leadership to lead by example to consciously drive the value of respect within the culture of any business.
This article was published in Communicate's latest issue.