Toxic Workplaces Create Traumatised Employees And Rising Mental Health Statistics
Systemic and normalised toxic culture breeds abuse, trauma, and mental health issues
Toxic behaviour resides in both large and small businesses and organisations. It is difficult to identify the presence of a toxic culture during interviews or when first entering the workplace environment. When toxic behaviour is commonplace it indicates a toxic culture that is systemic and normalised.
The librarian said to a colleague “I did not attend our manager’s farewell because he was despicable, he was cruel in his bullying and handling of my complaints about harassment, bullying, and more!” With the words “Bullying is everywhere” her colleague dismissed the librarian’s statement.
Workplace’s where toxic behaviour is the norm is a breeding ground for dysfunction and confusion. There are power struggles, a lack of trust, and gang mentality is rampant. Such behaviour can sometimes use a grooming type approach and attempts to strip people of confidence, self-esteem, self-worth; to humiliate; to create compliance, dependency; to create a broken soul; to bring a person under another’s or others' control.
Keep your back to the wall
The librarian walked around the five tables that were covered with library books
Shortly the prisoners would enter the classroom to select books for loan
She turned and set up her issuing table
Swept a quick glance around the room
Smiled, and spoke into her radio
Library to control room, library is ready to receive prisoners
The corrections officer stood at the classroom door
I’ll let them in he said
Thank you but only five at a time
Five prisoners entered the classroom, and another, another, another…
I said five at a time
This is too many
Miss, can I take these books?
The librarian sat down at the issuing table and began the loan process. She felt a hand slide down her back. Startled she looked behind her. The prisoner behind her smiled and walked away. She looked at the corrections officer. His eyes shifted from her to the prisoner, and he smiled
Some toxic workplaces are worse than others. Behaviours, actions in these environments gravitate to criminal behaviour, and such actions are swept under the carpet and the ‘hear no evil, see no evil, speak no evil’ concept encircles the relentless abuse of staff by staff.
Watch your back
The librarian said
I arrived at the Unit with my trolley stacked with boxes of library books
Two corrections officers unlocked the door
As I pushed my trolley into the room
My prisoner library assistant arrived
No tattoo covered his face or arms
We filled several tables with books
The corrections officers unlocked the door
that opened into the prisoner compound
Prisoners filed into the room
and began selecting books
When the last prisoner left the room with his books
I began packing up the remaining library books
The corrections officers left the room
Glanced to the door
My eyes narrowed
before returning to the residential manager
My voice hardened as I continued
The door to the prisoner compound was unlocked
The other door, my only safe exit was locked
I was alone in the room with the prisoner library assistant
There were almost 60 prisoners in the compound
All had access to the unlocked compound door
All had access to me
Are people held to account?
What is known is toxic workplaces produce
Cultures of fear
and more than often
Recent high profile cases of toxic cultures in businesses and organisations played out on screens and newspapers in millions of homes has alerted people from all walks of life to just how prolific toxic workplace culture is. Even more disturbing is the extent of abuse that employee’s are subjected too on a daily basis.
Global online connectivity, communication is enabling greater visibility on such damaging cultures, highlighting and demanding accountability and putting pressure on employers to make changes. Hopefully, changes will come.
Thank you for reading my piece on toxic workplaces and its impact. If you would like to read more from my prison series take a look below. Have a fabulous week.
My Prison Series
Dark Places Who is Friend Who is Foe
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