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Is Your Work Environment Toxic?

I have come across some employees who have complained that their work environment is toxic, but not to the extent that BrewDog, the craft beer company found when 61 former employees (and 45 who did not wish to reveal their identities) posted a letter on twitter. They accused BrewDog of encouraging a, “culture of fear” where staff were bullied and “treated like objects”.

In their letter they claimed that the company’s rapid growth came at the expense of health and safety, promoting values that it never actually practised and creating a culture that was so toxic it left many suffering from mental health problems. It said that the company would do anything for publicity and to promote its business goals. They claim that while the company published a ‘pawternity leave’ policy for pet owners, they never allowed staff to take it. They added that the firm spoke out about “wanting to save the planet” but were chartering flights across the Atlantic and cut proceeds from a charity product.

It focused in particular on blaming he co-founder James Watt for the company’s “rotten culture,“ saying “in the wake of your success are people left burnt out, afraid and miserable“. So, it was not great PR for the company!
However, Watt responded by apologising and saying, “We are committed to doing better, not just as a reaction to this, but always; and we are going to reach out to our entire team past and present to learn more. But most of all, right now, we are sorry.”

This is a salutary lesson for all companies; that just saying your employees are your greatest asset, but not backing that up with actions, is going to result in a high turnover rate when people find that what was promised has not been delivered. It can also lead to loss of business if people customers decide they don’t like how you treat your staff.

So if you want to find out what your staff think about their work environment in a less public manner, get in touch and we can help you run an internal survey.
Posted on 06 Jul 2021
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