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Is your workplace toxic?


This article examines the signs, solutions and preventative measures of toxic workplaces. Signs of a toxic workplace include low engagement survey scores, high turnover rates, bad behavior from leaders, and favoritism. Solutions include stakeholder storytelling, getting rid of toxic rockstars, comprehensive performance reviews, and encouraging employees to be good corporate citizens. Preventative care looks like psychological safety training, micro content, and fostering authentic human connection.


What are the early warning signs of a toxic workplace?
Early warning signs of a toxic workplace include low engagement survey scores, high turnover rates, a leader behaving badly, mandating unrealistic turnarounds for deliverables, and engaging in favoritism.

What are some solutions to a toxic workplace?
Solutions to a toxic workplace include stakeholder storytelling, getting rid of “toxic rockstars”, comprehensive performance reviews, encouraging employees to be good corporate citizens, and providing learning opportunities that emphasize psychological safety.

What are some signs of a toxic leader?
Signs of a toxic leader include yelling, being condescending, giving unnecessarily short answers, and creating a fear of challenging the status quo.

What is a preventative care solution for a toxic workplace?
A preventative care solution for a toxic workplace is to encourage employees to be good corporate citizens or good organizational citizens, and to provide comprehensive performance reviews.

How can HR professionals foster authentic human connection in the workplace?
HR professionals can foster authentic human connection in the workplace by engaging in regular storytelling with business leaders, providing micro content for continuous learning and development, and focusing on communication and being mindful of each other.

AI Comments

👍 This article is filled with great advice on how to identify and address toxic workplaces. It has helpful tips on how to create a more positive workplace environment and offers practical solutions to improve it.

👎 The advice in this article is rather vague and does not provide concrete steps on how to identify and address toxic workplaces. Additionally, it does not provide enough information on how to ensure a safe and effective work environment.

AI Discussion

Me: It's about toxic workplaces and the early warning signs to look for. HR expert Natalie Norfus breaks down some key factors of toxic workplaces and the importance of authenticity in creating positive work environments. She also addresses solutions to the issue and ways HR can help prevent the development of a toxic workplace.

Friend: Wow, that's really eye-opening. What are some of the implications of this article?

Me: Well, it's really important to pay attention to engagement survey scores and turnover rates, as they can be signs of a toxic workplace. It's also important to address leaders who are behaving badly and creating a hostile work environment. HR professionals should also practice storytelling with stakeholders and have performance reviews that include criteria around being a good corporate citizen. Finally, it's important to foster authentic human connections in order to create a positive work environment.

Action items

Technical terms

HR Expert
Human Resources Expert. A person who is knowledgeable in the field of human resources and is responsible for managing the personnel of an organization.
Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. A set of practices and policies that promote diversity, equity, and inclusion in the workplace.
Retention Rates
The percentage of employees who remain with an organization over a given period of time.
Compliance Risks
The potential risks associated with not following laws, regulations, and other standards.
Showing favoritism or preferential treatment to one person or group over another.
Stakeholder Storytelling
A method of communication used to engage stakeholders in a company’s story and to build relationships with them.
Toxic Rockstars
A term used to describe employees who are highly successful but also create a toxic work environment.
Psychological Safety
A term used to describe an environment where employees feel safe to take risks and be vulnerable without fear of negative consequences.
Micro Content
Small pieces of content, such as short videos, podcasts, or articles, that are used to deliver information in a concise and easily digestible format.
Being genuine and true to oneself.

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