Toxic employees and how to deal with them

toxic employees and how to deal with them The trials and tribulations of doing your job in a toxic environment

I happened to us all, so many times...On our way to the office, we felt our ankles were cuffed in manacles and we could barely take on step after the next. Once we got at the office, we activated a mode of behavior which, more often than not, prompted us to ask ourselves who we really were, the ones at home or those on the job. Sometimes we're scared, some other time we are super-techy, we count down the hours and the minutes left until it is time for us to leave. After that, we activate a different behavioral mode, that of decompensation, where we release our frustrations as we run into our folks at home, or we simply are too hard on ourselves. We do that only to go back to square one, the following day. But what happens, actually? In fact, we work in a toxic environment that takes its toll on our being as a whole. From a purely human point of view, there is that saying, leave your job worries on the doorstep of your house, but, in earnest, that doesn't work at all. We take our job toxicity with us, everywhere we go. 

Andra Pintican is a career counsellor and a HR expert. We sat down and spoke to Andra about the toxic workplace. So how do we detect toxicity in our workplace? 

Andra Pintican:

"Here are some of the toxic environment indicators. We have very authoritarian managers, who perform some kind of micromanagement, they do not allow freedom and autonomy to their employees so the latter can meet their set targets and goals, there is no safe psychological space, we are afraid to express ourselves because we dead positive that if we tell all what our opinion is, repercussions are about to follow, we do our job because we have to, even if we are aware a hundred per cent of them are wrong, so we absolutely stick to what we were told to do because our opinion in the organization does not matter, we do not have managers or people who are willing to take responsibility when something goes wrong, instead, they play the game of whose fault it is, rather than find a solution, we do not trust anybody. In a toxic environment, in fact, I think that is the most serious problem, that we do not trust each other and we always have the feeling that somebody will do us harm and that is the first and the most important aspect to be taken into account, because, the moment someone has that fear deeply engrained in his mind, that he is in a place where he is not safe, they will always keep their defensive systems alert, whereas in a survival fight there will be no true performance."

These are trying times we've been going through, and we are willing to make huge compromises if we want to put food on the table for our folks. Taking the heat of working with a toxic manager has become, these days, the only way of working, at least in some organizations. 

Here is Andra Pinctican once again, this time telling us how to recognize the toxic boss and how to thwart his behavior.

"The moment you have a toxic relationship with your manager, I want us to despise, for a little while, of the idea of having a boss, which is totally out of place in 2023, first of all you need to detect that. You need to realize that something is wrong there and that is very difficult, as we still think several types of behavior are normal. So no, no one can yell at you, telling you that you cannot have your vacation because there is no one to replace you, you have rights which must be respected, you also have responsibilities and it is your duty to respect them, that's for sure. A toxic boss will have an inadequate type of behavior with you, he will not respect your work standards, he will not respect your personal space, he will text you when it is totally inappropriate, he will ask you to ruin your personal life at the expense of the professional one and most likely he will have you do a lot more things that what is included in your job description. The moment you have to confront such people, you must learn to set and make your work standards known, to be familiar with your job description, you need to know what the things are, for which you are actually responsible, of course, you need to do your job and fulfil your contract responsibilities, yet at the same time you need to ask the man who is responsible for you to respect you all along. Let him know how you want him to address you, tell him, the moment he yells at you or when he uses inappropriate words, that you do not accept such a professional cooperation relationship, you also need to speak clearly about how you want him to work with you, so things can go perfectly fine because, realistically speaking, people cannot have a supernatural vision about what you want. "

The work standard, Andra Pintican says, is an idea that needs to be reiterated at the work place all the time. Does my colleague know how toxic he is, for me ?

"A manager, a colleague, somebody who is toxic, in 99 percent of the cases they do not know they're toxic. And they do not know that because, generally speaking, we, in terms of culture, do not know what toxicity is. We still believe it is normal to shout at one another, it is normal to encourage through discouraging or through terror. Fortunately, these things do not work anymore: unfortunately, they worked for a good number of years, yet things are changing, as we speak. Part of the people are beginning to realize what a sound professional relationship means, what it means to have a working professional relationship, to do your job in as sound a working environment as possible - I still do not think we 've been going as far as to have very sound work relationships, but we're heading in that direction - and the moment we have people with toxic types of behavior, they do not know they have that issue, nay, since we do not assertively address those issues they're not likely to become aware of that either. Usually, it's either us yelling at them there, telling them look what you're doing to me and they are on the defensive, and then we wrestle, or it's us playing the role of the victim, telling them look what you're doing to me, you make me suffer, and that's what prompts them to maintain their behavior even to a greater extent. If we want us to snap out of these psychological games, as that's what really happens with the work relationships, there are very many psychological games and we are captive in a place of a professional drama, each and every one of us needs to work with themselves and balance the way they relate to the others and, which is a must, we need to set our work standards, making them known constantly. We need to lay strong emphasis on the work standards, as they are an important step in the process of improving the work relationships in Romania. "

Let us learn to respect ourselves and we shall witness magic in all the other aspects of our life, the professional one included. 

Andra Pintican once again.

"In most of the cases, resignation is not the solution to the problem, as what we usually do is submit our resignation from a toxic workplace, but, mind you, the workplace is toxic, and the situation is toxic because we had our own contribution to that. And we quit a workplace of this kind and we move to another workplace where, most likely, we will make the same mistakes as we did before and, in two or three years' time, maybe less, we will find ourselves in a similar situation. The thing is that each and every one of us contributes to the circumstances we found ourselves in. We can say, look, the manager or my colleague aggress me, but the naked truth is that people do to us what we allow them to do. And, until we do not learn how to detect, even in ourselves, our own behavioral patterns that simply nurture the others toxic types of behavior, we 're not going to snap out of that game easily, not even if we submit our resignation. "

And the organization itself may also feel the pinch of its toxic employees.

"The long-term effects of a toxic environment are devastating. The moment someone comes to work in an environment where she or he feels they are at war, they are in danger, they have no choice other than be on the defensive all the time, first off, individually, while on the inside a lot of damage occurs, in our own bodies. That state of being stressed out, which grows into chronic stress, takes its toll on our lives on multiple levels, physically, mainly, and we reach the point where we cannot avoid the burnout. That is what happens individually. At team level, when we have a group of people, a team of people who suffer and they sometimes cannot clearly say that is what actually happens to them, that they are in burnout or in functional depression, the moment people suffer on the inside, the way they interact with one another is bound to be increasingly toxic. I think it doesn't make any sense to have a debate on the extent of the ensuing damage as regards performance, the relationship with the client, innovation...When people are extremely busy to survive and save their bacon and be in competition games, proving they are the best, I do not think there is any focus on the client or the organizational impact any more, but only on survival."
Publicat: 2023-06-07 14:00:00
Vizualizari: 995