Behaviours that at work can harm us, our teams, our organisation and also those we work to care for. What might have started as something small, like gossiping about a colleague, can soon catch traction. This can create a tense environment to work in, negatively affecting staff mental wellbeing and the quality-of-care patients receive.
Toxic workplaces have been described as an organisational form of compassion fatigue caused by vicarious trauma and compassion fatigue experienced by some of our most exhausted colleagues.
Toxic workplaces can fall into 4 areas:
Toxic behaviours of co-workers:
gossiping, aggression, humiliation, negative acts, incivility.
Toxic behaviours of managers:
narcissism & egoism, anger outburst & aggression, abusive, negative jokes & humiliation, favouritism, politics & favouring.
Toxic social-structural factors:
unreasonable overwork hours or tasks, career obstacles, unfair evaluations & politics, ergonomics & physical conditions.
low trust, work stressors, discrimination
Learning how to manage this when working with challenging colleagues, rather than getting caught up or contributing to this, can protect your mental health wellbeing.