How do I know if my work environment is unhealthy? Often changes in workplace culture is gradual and it is widely understood by many HR practitioners that the default organizational culture is one of toxicity. A certain recipe for poor mental health and a increase in compensation claims.


Increased pressure and workload

Tough economic times require tough workers right? Productivity is king, longer hours, being ‘connected’ more, redundancies without changes in the amount of work that needs to be done, skeleton staffing, multi-tasking etc etc.

  • Consistent deadlines
  • Covering for shifts
  • Staff with no annual leave or too much
  • Stressed manager exerting pressure on team members
  • Lack of enthusiasm/engagement for work
  • Physical injuries/ailments increasing


Lack of support

Many workplaces are team-based activities or at the very least staff are given directives from their supervisor. When there is a lack of engagement from leaders or staff feel unable to communicate their needs can cause poor mental health:

  • Not enough guidance from manager
  • Inability to communicate individual needs/ideas to team/manager
  • Poor communication and unclear expectations


Negative work relationships

Poor worker relationships are the singularly largest cause of mental health claims in Australia. Indicators include:

  • Lack of respect between team members
  • Avoidance behaviour 
  • Office cliques have formed
  • Gossip is commonplace

Lack of trust in managers

He relationship between manager/supervisor and line staff is pivotal to good mental health. A good relationship is built on trust and respect while the opposite is fertile breeding ground for mental health injury and claims. Such as:

  • A dictatorial management techniques that don’t embrace employee feedback
  • Favoritism and imbalanced working conditions
  • Staff often ‘cut-corners’ circumventing directions from management
  • Micro-managing and continued asking for permission when not required
  • You only hear good news