One of our values at Verbal Ink is the idea of the workplace being a safe space – regardless of the day to day demands of our jobs, we are nonetheless committed to the ideal that workplace stress should never be the result of tension within our own office. The antidote to a toxic workplace is most often a shared commitment, from employees and managers both, to make others feel respected and valued. Participation is really all that's required for this, but the kicker is that no one person or group is off the hook: it's a team effort.
In an essay titled “How to Cleanse a Toxic Workplace,” Kirk Lawrence of UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School describes at length the effects that not putting care into a hospitable work culture can have in the environment, stating “Toxic workplaces lower employee retention and productivity, raise stress, increase health care costs, and can lower workplace safety. In the worst case scenario, a toxic workplace can transcend into a hostile work environment.”
If it sounds like common sense, that's because it ought to be, and many times, it is. But it's surprisingly easy to find companies whose focus on the bottom line means that they hire and retain their employees based primarily on work productivity, with less consideration given to the attitude and personalities of the employees. If you focus on creating not only a work culture of efficiency, but also of mutual respect, then the benefits will be additional incentive for both your employees and your clients to stay.
For further reading, the essay described can be found here: [How To Cleanse a Toxic Workplace] (http://www.kenan-flagler.unc.edu/~/media/Files/documents/executive-development/unc-white-paper-how-to-cleanse-a-toxic-workplace.pdf)