Toxic Culture

By | April 4, 2022

Many of today’s employees are enjoying the continued perks of remote and hybrid work. And while some employers are gearing up to cutback on remote work, they may want to reconsider. Not only does remote and hybrid work give employees greater flexibility and save money on office space, it could also help to reduce toxic work behaviors such as bullying, racism and sexual harassment.

That’s according to a recent study by Capterra, which showed that a significant number of HR leaders (70%) at organizations that transitioned to hybrid or remote work saw fewer complaints of toxic behavior after the shift, and felt their culture became less toxic overall. The number of HR leaders calling their culture “somewhat” or “extremely” toxic also dropped by nearly half after the shift (47%).

Capterra found that employees agreed with that assessment, as well. The survey found that 38% of employees who have transitioned to hybrid/remote work have noticed less toxic workplace behavior compared to before the transition. Only 13% have noticed more toxic behavior.

Capterra also found that fully remote businesses benefited the most from this shift, with 74% of HR leaders at remote businesses reporting receiving fewer complaints, compared to 65% of hybrid businesses.

Corporate culture is important for any business and in today’s highly competitive insurance talent market that’s something agency owners should consider.

In a 2019 study, SHRM found that one in five U.S. workers had left a job in the previous five years because of a toxic work environment, bleeding those organizations of an estimated $223 billion in turnover costs. In addition to the cost of attrition, the employees that stick around in a toxic environment are notably less productive.

Another recent study by MIT Sloan Management Review found that toxic cultures are a leading cause of The Great Resignation. More than 40% of all employees were thinking about leaving their jobs at the beginning of 2021, and as the year went on, workers quit in unprecedented numbers. Between April and September 2021, more than 24 million American employees left their jobs, an all-time record. The report found that a toxic workplace culture is 10.4 times more likely to contribute to an employee quitting. The analysis identified three elements of a toxic culture:

  • Failure to promote diversity, equity and inclusion;
  • Workers feeling disrespected; and
  • Unethical behavior.

At a time when talent is perhaps more valuable than ever, should managers consider letting employees work from home to help make a company’s culture less toxic? Perhaps. What do you think?

Topics Leadership

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Insurance Journal West April 4, 2022
April 4, 2022
Insurance Journal West Magazine

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