The journey to advance DEI applies both at the micro-level and the macro-level. In part one of this series, we’ll explore how individuals can support each other and contribute to an inclusive culture.
If you’re in the workplace feeling minimized, demeaned or overlooked, how would you want to be supported by your colleagues? Understanding how underrepresented individuals might respond to this question can help inform how to shape a journey that leads to a more diverse, equitable and inclusive work environment. But it also starts with knowing how individuals in your organization may be affected by a negative work environment.
People who feel excluded, misunderstood or constantly ridiculed in the workplace can suffer trauma that significantly affects their lives, at work and beyond. Research conducted by Manuela Priesemuth, assistant professor of management at Villanova University posits that “toxic workplaces impair the lives of individuals beyond the work realm.” In addition to struggling at work, “employees report feeling emotionally drained, experiencing lower well-being, and even increased conflict at home.”
Destructive workplaces are devastating for all concerned, individuals, work teams and the whole organization. In her multi-study effort, Priesemuth and her colleagues discovered that abusive environments degrade a work group’s effectiveness, to where they lose their confidence to adequately perform a given task. Such environments can also “destroy important bonds between team members, which further results in reduced performance and citizenship behaviors, meaning that employees are less likely to help and support each other.”