Toxic Culture Creates Challenges for Managers and Recruiters

A majority of tech pros believe they work in an unhealthy environment, according to a recent survey by Blind.

Via its app, Blind asked tech pros to answer the following question either “True” or “False”: “I consider my current workplace a healthy working environment.” Some 52.34 percent answered “False,” while 47.66 percent said “True.” (Some 12,549 tech pros responded overall.)

As with other Blind surveys, respondents could also indicate where they worked. Intel, Amazon, and eBay led among “more unhealthy” companies, while Uber, Google, and LinkedIn topped the “healthier” portion of the list. Check out the complete breakdown:

The toxicity of workplace culture has become a hotly discussed issue within the technology industry, especially in the wake of seismic shakeups at Uber, Google, and other organizations. Whatever the particular brand of toxin—a workaholic culture that devastates employee work-life balance, rampant sexual misconduct, and so on—such environments can quickly lead to mass employee burnout.

For employees jammed in an unhealthy environment, there are steps they can take to preserve their sanity before they find a way to escape. For example, they can build a support network of like-minded colleagues who’ll not only keep their spirits up, but also alert them to better opportunities at other companies. They can also try to create an individual culture of transparency and communication, which could help resolve some broader issues.

Ultimately, however, solving a toxic culture is a job for management. Managers must ensure that workloads are balanced, that concerns and complaints are adequately addressed, and that sufficient motivation exists to actually get projects done. In another Blind survey, work overload and toxic culture were widely regarded as the top two causes of burnout, followed by lack of control and career growth, insufficient rewards, and poor leadership and unclear direction.

For recruiters, a toxic culture at a rival firm can create excellent opportunities for poaching. Employees want more than a paycheck; in most cases, they’re also looking for nice colleagues and good work-life balance. By explaining how your client company can fulfill those needs, and offer a positive workplace environment, you can potentially pull them in without needing to offer an extraordinary salary or outsized incentives.

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