Career Moves



Career Moves HR

The Cost of Workplace Stress and Toxic Behaviours

  • by Career Moves HR
  • 9 Oct 2018

Modern management is currently under scrutiny by researchers as one of the leading causes of decreased employee health and company performance.

The contemporary working environment is challenged for its consistency and compatibility with the remainder of life. More commonly, we are witnessing ‘family-flexible’ work practices integrate into the employment space, often becoming an area of negotiation in the recruitment process between new hires and prospective employers.

Through certificating companies on their corporate behaviour and employee practices, we openly address the common issues filtering today’s working environment and can work to solve our workplace problem. For example, Jeffrey Pfeffer’s Dying for a Paycheck, works to outline and solve toxic office environments that continue to rise employee attrition and dissatisfaction.

Pfeffer theorises that toxic management practices, in fact, inhibit organisational profitability through diminishing employee engagement, turnover, and professional execution. This dismal exposition of common unhealthy workplaces details that such behaviours neither benefit the employee nor their employers.

So, in this realm, how do we encourage workplace wellbeing within the office environment?

Educating Employees

A detailed teaching of health in the workplace needs to be inducted to current and prospective employees. Understanding what constitutes health risks, including psychosocial risks, is the first initiative to decrease their employee attrition and creating a healthier working environment. Employers who empower their workers to evaluate the workplace stresses that decrease their productivity through influence on their physical and mental health, enable their business to open to our new world of work.

Measuring Toxic Behaviours

If employers truly take initiative and measure their toxics management practices, through analysing employee sick days, engagement, and productivity. Taking a holistic approach to these statistics will help you to identify if there are particular teams where company culture may be amiss, or if there is a toxic influence within the team.

Once it has been noticed that employee performance has lowered among a team overall, it may be worth investigating abusive supervision, or other means of workplace bullying, especially if further employee distresses such as witnessing tension, emotional exhaustion, lower self-esteem, and a lower job satisfaction, have also been noted.

Individual Stresses

Employees who are experiencing individual workplace stresses, that are negatively impacting their work productivity, require closer investigation, preferably on a one-to-one basis to ensure that a sufficient work-life integration is met. A culture has perturbed the working world, where individuals have denied family life and stresses experienced to the extent where the workplace wellbeing movement we are experiencing became inevitable.


When these matters fall below the radar, intention to quit, increased psychological distress and decreased company commitment are common attributes to both victims and those witnessing the behaviour. Due to the break in psychological contract between employers and employees, if toxic workplace behaviour is witnessed and left unresolved, employees are inclined to change jobs due to increased levels of anxiety and depression.

The new generations entering the working environment are seeking a better balance between life and work. Similar to the environmental standards now held to corporations, these generations are identifying overarching social goals that they personally deem beneficial to the working world, one of those being an increased work-life integration. And we are witnessing leaders within the employment space, such as Google, register this when building their offices, through the inclusion of food, exercise, and sleep venues.

This movement identifies that corporations are understanding the importance and sanctity of people’s physical and psychological well-being, as the working environment has witnessed diminished trust in institutional leadership, and employee satisfaction, we now need to work to reinstall productivity back into the world of work through employee wellbeing.

Here at Career Moves, we understand the complexities of employee well-being and actively promote a positive working environment. If you have insights on the above topic or would like to reach out to improve your own workplace environment, then please contact us HERE.

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