In a Word, Yes
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, more than four million people quit their jobs last spring, a phenomenon characterized in the media as the Great Resignation, aka the Big Quit, so far representing the biggest spike on record. A record that might very well get broken in the months ahead. Even if those months finally see a subsiding pandemic and some kind of return to normal.
Because one of the major factors behind this phenomenon isn’t necessarily just pandemic burnout. According to Bloomberg, “The biggest predictor of employee attrition isn’t pay, a new analysis finds, but toxic workplace culture…an analysis of more than 1.4 million Glassdoor reviews for companies across 38 industries found that company culture is 12.4 times more likely than compensation to predict when an employee leaves.”
What can organizations do to create a toxic-free workplace and minimize a Great Resignation of their own staff?
Let’s take a look at:
- Why toxic behavior leads to the Great Resignation
- What constitutes a toxic workplace culture in a remote working environment
- How to keep your employees and mitigate risk of your own Great Resignation
Toxic Behavior and the Big Quit
Recent research points to a toxic work culture as a primary cause of employee attrition, even more so than salary, burnout or lack of work-life balance. Consider the findings of a study published in MIT Sloan Management Review:
“Much of the media discussion about the Great Resignation has focused on employee dissatisfaction with wages. How frequently and positively employees mentioned compensation, however, ranks 16th among all topics in terms of predicting employee turnover. This result is consistent with a large body of evidence that pay has only a moderate impact on employee turnover…In general, corporate culture is a much more reliable predictor of industry-adjusted attrition than how employees assess their compensation…A toxic corporate culture, for example, is 10.4 times more powerful than compensation in predicting a company’s attrition rate compared with its industry.”
Contributing Worklife writer Kat Boogaard notes that organizations that ignore a toxic workplace culture face a 48 percent turnover rate. In contrast, the turnover rate for toxic-free organizations is only 14 percent.
And as Washington Post columnist Karla L. Miller points out, “During the Great Resignation, we’ve seen workers of all ages and experience levels increasingly willing and able to walk away from toxic workplaces and managers.” Over at the New York Times, Emma Goldberg writes, “Increasingly, as people’s work routines have been upended by the pandemic, they’ve begun to question the thrum of unpleasantness and accumulation of indignities they used to shrug off as part of the office deal. Some are saying: no more working for jerks.”
Perhaps there is no better indication of the pervasiveness of toxic workplace culture than that there is now a Word template to craft a resignation letter due to a toxic work environment.
Toxic Online Work Communications
Even before the pandemic enforced widespread remote working—which is likely to continue post-pandemic in either fully remote or hybrid forms—employee communications relied on email and various messaging platforms. Toxic online communications constitute, either explicitly or by sentiment or tone, anything that contains threats of harassment, discrimination, retaliation or aggression.
As we’ve pointed out, toxic workplace behavior is observable in the office. Moreover, employees may feel more comfortable taking a short elevator elevator ride to the HR department to report harassing behavior in private and in confidence. Online there is likely less trust when the HR department is an HR email address. Plus, tn a remote working environment, and particularly during the pandemic that heightens feelings of isolation, employees are less likely to report toxic email and messaging communications.
Keep Your Employees and Mitigate a Great Resignation in Your Organization
In the “new normal” or remote and hybrid working arrangements, it is absolutely vital to stop toxic email and messaging communications before they upset your employees and your work culture in ways that can lead to your own version of a Great Resignation.
Up until recently, that’s been an almost impossible task. Companies had to rely primarily on employee reports of toxic behaviors which, as we’ve noted, is much less likely in remote work environments. Moreover, particularly in companies where a toxic work culture is present, employees tend not to have faith in HR as an ally. Inc. reports that,” Trust in HR is lacking. Seventy percent of employees surveyed at major tech companies don’t trust HR.”
Now, however, CommSafe AI Safe Communications Software™ eliminates the need for self-reporting and the sense among some employees that they don’t want to be seen as a “rat” by their colleagues. This is a smart, scalable tool to detect potentially toxic email and chat communications in real-time. It not only detects unacceptable terms, but also tone and sentiment. It doesn’t intrude on employee communications and it doesn’t police them. Big Brother is not watching each and every employee interaction. But what it does watch is potential issues and flag them for further review. So everyone can feel safer.
It’s the intelligent easy-to-use solution combining machine learning and human judgement and experience to better ensure employee communications are free of toxic behavior. See this demo for just how easily CommSafe AI helps prevent inappropriate communications and even correct it before it happens. Contact us to discuss how CommSafe AI can help you avoid a Great Resignation due to toxic workplace behavior.