Toxic work cultures

IN recent weeks reports have emerged about the toxic culture impacting several New Zealand organisations and the impacts on the health and wellbeing of those who work for or with those organisations.

A toxic work environment is one where there is, among many things,  mistrust of others, high turn over of staff, bullying, lack of communication, unrealistic goals and general incivility towards others.

This environment has implications not only for individuals but also organisational productivity and reputation.  
In 2003 Andrea Needham wrote the first book on Workplace Bullying  (since updated) and this info is still relevant today.

More recently (2020) MBIE released an issues paper on Bullying and Harassment at work

outlining  “…what we know about the nature and extent of bullying and harassment at work in New Zealand,” along with examining current systems for preventing and responding to such behaviour.

WCL’s collection also has a range of resources for those who find themselves facing the challenges of a toxic workplace.

The article How to Deal With a Work Bully lists some steps for coping when faced with a nasty workmate.

Bully blocking at work : a self-help guide for employees and managers (2012) by Evelyn M. Field can be downloaded in e-book format

Written by an experienced psychologist this book helps the reader to understand the toxic, destructive impact of bullying on all employees — whether they are targets, bullies or onlookers — and provides advice for coping and confronting bullying, from both a personal and organisational perspective.

Also available for download as an e-book is :

How to deal with toxic people : clever ways to handle manipulative, difficult, & sensitive people using emotional intelligence (2018) By Bob Scott

While common in the workplace, toxic people are also encountered in families and social relationships.  This book highlights “… several ways of dealing with difficult, immature and toxic people” and reveals how to “deal with several traits accompanied with social toxicity” as well as advising how to manage your emotions and responses around toxic behaviors.

For those seeking an audiobook resource there is Robert Sutton’s  The asshole survival guide : how to deal with people who treat you like dirt (2017)

Stanford professor Robert Sutton offers practical advice on identifying and tackling any kind of asshole — based on research into groups from uncivil civil servants to French bus drivers, and 8,000 emails that he has received on asshole behaviour. With expertise and humour, he provides a cogent and methodical game-plan to fight back.

In print, and available when library doors are once again open to the public is this new addition from Peter Economy

Wait, I’m working with who?!? : the essential guide to dealing with difficult coworkers, annoying managers, and other toxic personalities (2021)

Described as “… the go-to guide on working with anyone in your office–from the difficult or negative to the toxic and destructive–whether they are your manager, a team member, or someone who’s just waiting out the clock. Chock-full of useful advice that will make your workday happier and more productive.

If you need more information please contact the Prosearch team at the library.  We can help you find information across a range of perspectives and resources.  All enquiries are treated in confidence.