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Toxic work environments: How can HR better protect employees?


The recent controversy surrounding Jimmy Fallon and the allegations of toxic workplace culture at his show, The Tonight Show, have put a spotlight on workplace toxicity in general. HR should have a policy in place with a clear definition of bullying and harassment, a process for reporting, and confidentiality protections. HR should also provide training and communication channels to make it easier for employees to come forward with complaints. It is important for HR to understand that the absence of a formal complaint does not mean there is not a problem.


What are the steps employers should take to reduce workplace toxicity?
Employers should have a clear policy with a clear definition of bullying or harassment in place, a process for reporting bullying or harassment with confidentiality protections, and a commitment from HR to investigate all complaints of bullying promptly and thoroughly.

What should HR do when a complaint of toxicity is made?
HR should talk to the boss directly about their behaviour in a private setting and in a non-accusatory way, try to understand the reasons for the leader’s behaviour, and see if there is anything that can be done to address the issue.

How should HR respond when they are aware of a potential toxic work environment but have not received a formal complaint?
HR and senior leadership should try to protect employees and provide a harassment-free workplace. They should investigate the situation and take steps to address the issue.

What is the role of HR in providing a harassment-free work environment?
HR has a positive obligation to provide a harassment-free work environment and take steps to protect employees.

What measures should HR have in place to encourage employees to come forward with allegations of toxicity?
HR should have a clear policy with a clear definition of bullying or harassment in place, a process for reporting bullying or harassment with confidentiality protections, and offer confidential reporting options such as a hotline or email address.

AI Comments

👍 This article does an excellent job of outlining the steps that HR professionals should take to proactively and reactively address allegations of workplace toxicity.

👎 This article does not provide any practical solutions to the problem of workplace toxicity.

AI Discussion

Me: It's about workplace toxicity and how HR can better protect employees against it. It talks about a controversy surrounding Jimmy Fallon and how his employees had experienced declining mental health, intimidation from higher-ups, and poor treatment because of his erratic behaviour.

Friend: That's really disturbing. What are the implications of this article?

Me: Well, it emphasizes the importance of HR having clear policies in place to protect employees from toxic work environments. It also suggests that HR should be proactive in addressing any potential toxicity in the workplace, even if no formal complaints are made. HR must also ensure that employees feel comfortable coming forward with any issues they may have. Finally, the article suggests that HR should provide training to help managers improve their management skills, such as conflict resolution and communication.

Action items

Technical terms

A situation in which a person or environment is harmful or damaging to mental or physical health.
Unwanted or offensive behavior that is directed at an individual or group of people.
The use of force, threat, or coercion to abuse, intimidate, or aggressively dominate others.
The act of making someone feel scared or threatened in order to gain control over them.
The state of keeping information private or secret.
Occupational Health and Safety Legislation
Laws that are designed to protect the health and safety of workers in the workplace.
Positive Obligation
A legal obligation to take action or to refrain from taking action in order to protect the rights of others.

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