What you need to know:
- Your friend refers to workplace toxicity without citing any specific disgruntlement.
- The understanding and interpretation of what constitutes a toxic work environment is not universal across individuals or teams.
- It is therefore useful to appreciate the issues with which she is grappling. Is it that the people in the organisations she has been part of are hostile to her?
A friend has quit three employers in the past four years who had toxic working environments. After five months with her current employer, she says that the working environment there is toxic too. How does one identify good working environments?
The dynamics of the relationship between an employer and employee have changed over time in several ways, including the tendency towards the latter steadily gaining a greater voice and choice in their engagements with the former. It is therefore becoming more common for employees to express their disappointment concerning elements in their work environments that appear to hinder their wellbeing or careers.
Your friend refers to workplace toxicity without citing any specific disgruntlement. The understanding and interpretation of what constitutes a toxic work environment is not universal across individuals or teams. It is therefore useful to appreciate the issues with which she is grappling. Is it that the people in the organisations she has been part of are hostile to her? Are the values of the said organisations opposed to her personal values? Are her leaders or colleagues serially disrespectful, abusive, or exceptionally treacherous? Are they purveyors of harassment? Whatever the case, it is odd that that every employer she has worked for has had, in her view, a toxic work environment.
Granted that there are no perfect workplaces and considering the variety of expectations that every employee represents, there is a level of tolerance that both the employer and employee must exercise to facilitate cordial mutual co-existence. Has your friend had the misfortune of having an unusual affinity for toxic work environments or might her expectations of an employer be unrealistic? To encounter three employers in four years whose environments are all inundated with toxins is uncommon. Has she not found a single moment of saving grace in her career or a chance encounter with a Good Samaritan in any of the three organisations? Before she tries a fifth employer, encourage her to find a career coach to help her unravel the matter. Either she or the organisations that she has worked for need to change. Consider a quote by Ernest Hemingway, “you can't get away from yourself by moving from one place to another.”