A course to counteract a toxic work environment: does it work?

06.01.2022
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Many people have had experiences with toxic work environments. A group of researchers has investigated a programme to improve the work atmosphere – and has found positive results.

Although poor workplace conditions are ubiquitous, the problem is widely overlooked in large companies. As a result, employees become dissatisfied, their productivity decreases, and companies face high costs and layoffs.

Researchers Sule Alan (European University Institute in Florence), Gozde Corekcioglu (Kadir Has University in Istanbul) and Matthias Sutter (Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods, Universities of Cologne and Innsbruck) have evaluated the impact of a programme designed to improve the working atmosphere in companies and written a paper on the subject, which can be obtained from the Max Planck Society.

The programme focuses on the relationship between managers and employees. An important concept in the programme is effective communication by eliminating hostile and condescending language. In addition, prosocial behaviour is encouraged, which improves professional support among colleagues.

The researchers’ findings demonstrate that innovative measures that focus on improving the work atmosphere can do much to increase employee engagement and satisfaction with managers. This reduces turnover and ultimately changes the relational culture.

To the full paper

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