Toxic Workplaces

Posted by on Sep 4, 2010 in Success!Ezine For You



E. Carol Webster, Ph.D.
Original Copyright © 2010

Toxic workplaces can make you sick. Bully bosses and oppressive work practices create great stress and reports of depression are common. In this bad economy, employees feel they have nowhere to go because job options are limited or non-existent, so they try to hold on while their physical and mental health declines. Businesses get pinched too as the use of sick days and disability rises while productivity falls. So it’s important to eradicate toxic elements in your workplace as soon as you spot them.

  • Abusive Bosses

Take a careful look at your leadership team. There’s no place for bullies or those who don’t have control of their anger and impulses. Supervisors who are yelling and throwing things need help and are not demonstrating adequate self-restraint to manage others. Similarly, those who are arrogant and on a power trip, feeling the need to lord over staff, are likely to be obnoxious, condescending micro-managers who bludgeon professional egos and stifle creativity and innovation. Many balk or downright reject coaching because they don’t feel the need to change, so be prepared to have to show most of them the door.

  • Abusive Co-Workers

Workplaces led by abusive bosses tend to spawn abusive staff. Your employees may be plagued by coworkers who are cursing them out, slamming doors, flinging objects on their desks, if not outright taunting and terrorizing them. This is unacceptable. People deserve to come to a welcoming work environment that they look forward to each day, rather than one that makes them feel like they have to duck and take cover. Yes, it’s a hassle to discipline and terminate problem employees, but when you fail to take action you’re sanctioning abusive behavior and codifying toxicity and violence in your workplace.

  • Abusive Workloads

The combination of abusive bosses and coworkers can easily result in abusive workloads for employees. Bullies tend not to carry their weight, causing others to be exploited and taken advantage of. This is worsened by the drastic cutback in staff on most jobs today, causing a few workers to be loaded down with more work than they can possibly handle well. Risk managers have good reason to be in a panic, so it is wise to reassess and realign workloads. Yes, this may mean less profit as you hire additional staff, but both your customers and staff are more likely to stay with you as the quality of your attention to them improves.

Toxic workplaces can sicken your staff and your business. Help your employees feel valued and well-regarded. Promote personnel and practices that bring professional satisfaction, smiles and laughter to those who work for you. Your staff and customers will look forward to being in your workplace and this can only mean great things for your business!



About the Author:

Dr. E. Carol Webster is a clinical psychologist consultant in Fort Lauderdale, FL.
She is author of the book for those dealing with the stress of success ―
Success Management: How to Get to the Top and Keep Your Sanity Once You Get There,

The Fear of Success: Stop It From Stopping You! ―
the book to help you overcome fears that may be holding you back in your life and career
The Private Practice of Clinical Psychology in: Voices of Historical & Contemporary Black American Pioneers
To contact Dr. Webster visit online at or call 954.797.9766.

E. Carol Webster, Ph.D.
Clinical Psychology Consulting
Mailing Address: 7027 West Broward Boulevard, #262  Fort Lauderdale, FL 33317

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