Decoding the Toxic Workplace

Dealing with a toxic workplace can drain you of your mental and physical energy really fast. Gender discrimination, passive-aggressive communication, forced overwork, etc., are all signs of a toxic work environment.

Whether you have felt toxicity spreading among your employees or are trapped in a toxic optometry practice yourself, protecting your mental health should be your first priority. However, becoming oblivious to the situation is not the solution.

You must be able to identify exactly where the problem stems from. Once you realize that toxicity is brewing at your workplace, put in some forethought and careful efforts to do something to heal the organizational culture.

  1. Beware the Sexist Norms

Female workers who think creatively are often criticized for presenting ideas that are not in sync with the team. Men in the same position, on the other hand, are generally praised for their bold thinking.

Come the time for appraisals, the achievements of male and female workers can be described in completely different ways.

No one should make or tolerate these types of gender-biased judgments.

Be it in meetings or performance reviews, speak up if you come across any employee criticizing a colleague merely for their tone on personality.

2. Promote and Protect a Diverse Workforce

If you want to nurture a healthy work environment, you must seek to hire people from a range of different age groups and ethnicities. Creating a diverse workforce means bringing in a range of different skills and perspectives that can be beneficial for the sustained growth of the business.

However, it’s not just about recruiting staff members from diverse backgrounds. You need to focus on retaining them as well.

A holistic approach to promoting diversity in the workplace is to build upon the contributions of the employees. Rather than forcing new hires to fit into the existing culture, encourage their input on streamlining the current work methods.

3. Watch Out for Unsolicited Use of the NDAs

The primary purpose of non-disclosure agreements is to protect intellectual property and sensitive data. However, many companies leverage them to silence employees who try to speak up against the toxicity in the workplace.

Tying severance packages to NDAs and offering huge monetary benefits to employees if they leave the company unwillingly should serve as a big red flag for the organizational culture.

All optometrists should rather promote constructive feedback on the existing norms in the workplace.

The key to dealing with a toxic workplace is to know and stand up for your rights. Give others a role model for good behavior and work ethics and show your appreciation for employees who strive to make the workspace a better place.

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