Unpaid overtime: The top contributor to toxic work culture in tech companies
It’s no secret that today’s employees are seeking an environment where they can mentally and emotionally thrive, and employees are starting to become more aware of the red flags.
Expecting employees to work longer hours or weekends without additional pay is the top contributor to a toxic company culture, according to a report by TalentLMS, a learning management system – in collaboration with CultureAmp, an employee experience platform.
Lack of transparency and communication from management and leadership comes in second place, followed by a lack of consideration and courtesy.
The survey highlights the importance of leadership and senior management in creating and maintaining a healthy workplace.
According to the surveyed employees, leadership and senior management are mostly responsible for the toxic culture in tech companies.
At the same time, nearly half (45 per cent) of employees in toxic tech companies say leadership is unaware of the toxicity, and lives in a bubble where company culture is perceived as healthy.
The research report, which surveyed US employees in the tech industry, examines what contributes to a toxic work environment, the role of leadership, and what employees think can help eliminate toxicity in their workplace.
The survey reveals 45 per cent of employees who experience a toxic work environment in their companies plan to quit their job because of it.
Additionally, toxic culture has pushed 45 per cent of employees toward quiet quitting.
Respondents also said that a toxic work environment negatively affects their performance (48 per cent), and their physical health (48 per cent), while 46 per cent admit to suffering from burnout.
Joel Davies, Senior People Scientist at Culture Amp, says in their most extreme form, these toxic behaviours can put the mental health of employees seriously at risk. But even at moderate levels, they can severely impact organisational performance by undermining employee motivation, diminishing the strength of the employer brand, and increasing employee turnover.
“A healthy work culture is all about leadership. Interestingly, most startups that manage to grow actually do so thanks to their culture and attractive work environment,” adds Dimitris Tsingos, President of Epignosis and Co-founder of TalentLMS.
“Unfortunately, during the scaling phase, founders and investors make a common yet disastrous choice that kills this culture: they build management teams, not aiming to increase their strengths, but focusing on their weaknesses. This creates a disconnect between the company vision and the culture experienced daily by employees. When selecting your leaders, look for ones that enthusiastically embrace your culture.”
When faced with toxic behaviours or situations, almost half (49 per cent) of surveyed employees say they don't do or say anything — 29 per cent because they don't believe it will make a difference, and 20 per cent because they’re too nervous about the consequences.
To address toxicity, almost half of employees (48 per cent) agree training can help in fostering a more positive and healthy work environment.
As many as 43 per cent think managerial and leadership training for leaders and managers would be helpful. Also, 46 per cent of respondents find the practice of employees offering feedback to their managers, leaders, and peers helpful.