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Toxic work culture biggest reason for “Great Resignation”

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Employees ten times more likely to leave due to toxicity than compensation

With record numbers of resignations in the UK in 2021, new research has found that toxic workplace culture is the most significant reason employees leave their roles.

MIT Sloan Management Review analysed over 1.4 million anonymous employee reviews on the careers website Glassdoor to understand why people left their jobs. According to the research, employees in the US were ten times more likely to leave due to toxicity as opposed to compensation.

The research found that toxic work culture was described as:

  • Non-inclusive
  • Disrespectful
  • Unethical
  • Cut-throat
  • Abusive

According to Glassdoor, a toxic workplace is described as a hostile culture where the offence and intimidation of employees is almost normalised. This hostile environment negatively impacts employee engagement, productivity, and job satisfaction throughout the business and, ultimately, the company’s bottom line.

Glassdoor provides the following suggestions for employees dealing with a toxic work culture:

  • To not stoop to low levels of behaviour – employees should focus on neutrality and completing their work responsibilities.
  • Connect with colleagues who share similar feelings for support while avoiding gossip.
  • Not to allow stress at work to overtake their home life.
  • Protect mental health by taking time outside of work to focus on wellbeing.
  • Create an escape plan for removing themselves from toxic work situations responsibly.
  • Analyse what they don’t like about the role to ensure they do not find themselves in the same situation in their next role.
  • Read reviews of any potential companies to find out what it’s like to work there.

Glassdoor economist, Lauren Thomas, commented: “If 2021 was the Year of Quits for employees, 2022 needs to be the Year of Hires for companies. To do this, employers need to understand why workers are leaving. Toxic workplace culture is a major factor in the record number of resignations – but job seekers are also enjoying more choices than ever when it comes to selecting their next role. Putting employee engagement at the heart of the business is vital to retain staff and maximise productivity.”

With the market still seeing high levels of staff turnover coupled with the lack of skills, employers’ focus should turn to talent retention and internal mobility in order to prevent employees leaving.

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