With labor unionization initiatives beginning at some large US retailers, employees resigning in record numbers, and continuous delays in returning to the workplace, workers appear to be putting their foot down when it comes to less-than-ideal work arrangements. Some of these issues come from the problem of inclusion and diversity in various work environments such as retail sales.

Bosses and workers alike should care about the quality, diversity, and inclusion in retail. Research published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health concluded that a hazardous workplace can be harmful and contribute to unwarranted stress, burnout, despair, and anxiety among workers. Research suggests also that bad employee well-being will spread to other employees and reduce the quality of their job. 

Studies also discovered the inverse: Employee well-being boosts job performance, and a workplace that actively supports people does bring sustainability to an organization’s success. 

Recognizing a Toxic Work Environment 

Signs of a hazardous workplace aren’t necessarily as clear as a lot of people imagine, Some may immediately think of verbal or sexual harassment as the problem, but it’s not so simple. Toxic work environments are any workplace that makes one feel uncomfortable. A toxic workplace might be a situation in which an employee may see no future.

Many times in a toxic environment, people are not given opportunities to progress forward or to earn promotions. Perhaps being passed over for promotions or not having any upward mobility may also greatly influence workplace morale, knowing that no matter how hard you work, there’s no advancement that you can achieve.

A clear symptom of toxic work environments is when a boss micromanages the staff or when a manager closely monitors employees, continuously checking in on every small job. This condition causes employees to feel that the organization doesn’t trust them. 

Another not-so-obvious indicator of a toxic workplace is the expectation that you should always be available outside of business hours. 

Employers may request that you work weekends or longer hours without additional compensation and these are “little red lights” that individuals frequently disregard as normal work culture. 

What To Do In a Toxic Work Environment 

If you find yourself in a toxic work environment it may be time to search for new employment. You may use all the coping techniques to cope with it, but it’s possible you should just consider finding a way out.

Some HR experts advise clients to construct an internal schedule for their job searches, possibly establishing a goal to begin actively looking for a new position within the following three to six months. Professionals may advocate maintaining notes of any acts or behaviors in the workplace that signal an unhealthy work setting while you’re in the process of looking for other opportunities. 

Often, resigning immediately before getting a new job is not practical for a majority of individuals for financial reasons, experts note.

If you can’t just up and leave, try to make improvements at work and think about what limits you want to impose, and begin working on them. If you want to show your coworkers that you’re not accessible outside of business hours, but you’re hesitant to say it openly, you may configure your phone to send calls to voicemail while you’re off the clock. Or configure your email signature to state that beyond a particular hour, you would only answer the next working day. 

If there are concerns you wish to bring to the notice of your supervisor, you may make it less scary by laying out a script for yourself. Outside of work pursue additional self-care activities in your daily routine such as physical activity or a hobby. She also stressed the importance of treatment for managing work-related stress. Some full-time employees have access to counseling through an employee assistance program provided by their employer.

By editor