Men Taking a Stand

listen to - something different! podcast on goodpods

Bill Carson
By Bill Carson

With many people returning to workplaces post-COVID, issues in relation to workplace unrest have been on the rise.   
One of the big issues is tangible toxicity in the workplace. 
This new phenomenon involves silent and covert bullying, harassment, discrimination, isolation, intimidation, ridicule, unfair judgement and unwarranted pressure and other types of sinister and dangerous behaviour.  Surprisingly, many men are standing up and saying I don’t want to spend their time in toxic environments and they are leaving for other roles, often lower paid or lower responsibility roles where they can achieve improved levels of work-life balance and enjoy going to work. 
What we are seeing is a growing number of men throwing in their corporate roles.  
They are fed up, stressed and anxious having to deal with tangible toxicity.  
Tangible toxicity is sinister and harmful and it results in physical harm to people. 
It causes health and well-being issues such as high blood pressure, worry, sleep loss, agitation and lethargy. 
If left untreated, it can lead to significant mental and physical health issues.
Tangible toxicity is rife in workplaces with poor and uncaring management and leadership.   Unfortunately due to the tight labour market and the changing nature of workplaces since COVID, many workplaces have recruited and retained people that are not the ideal fit for organisations and they are causing a lot of workplace damage.
In addition, workplaces have lost sight of and are no longer in touch with their organisational values.  Hybrid workplaces have resulted in a loss of culture and the ability to entrench, develop and foster good people practices.
As a result, many workplaces are no longer psychologically safe and are rife with tangible toxicity.  
This is evident in the feedback I am receiving from people who have reached out for help.
In working with many organisations, many men have said they have experienced poor responses from their managers to their need to take time off or implement more flexible office hours in response to family and mental health issues.
One person told me that his manager openly mocked him at a team meeting, making jokes and belittling his concerns which left the person feeling humiliated and reluctant to speak up about his mental health issues again.
Another manager told me that despite providing medical documentation for a cancer diagnosis and associated mental health issues, his manager refused to accommodate any requests for support and said that he had to continue to perform at the same level as everyone else.
What I am seeing is a rise in the number of men calling it quits. 
They are leaving workplaces that no longer give them the flexibility and support they need.  
This is a significant shift because traditionally men have been raised to be stoic and push through – but it seems that these attitudes are changing.
Now we are losing good people through poor workplace behaviour and psychologically unsafe workplaces.  Men are choosing to take a different path.  They are opting to change careers, start up their own businesses, work in less demanding roles and take on new opportunities that give them the freedom to spend more time with their family and take better care of their health.   While this results in better outcomes for those who leave, it means organisations are losing very good talented people.  The whole industry, the entire economy loses when good people exit. 
Clearly, businesses need to act. 
Organisations need to be more accountable and take responsibility for their workplaces.  They should be doing everything possible to retain people and ensure workplaces are safe and productive environments.

About the author: Bill Carson has over 20 years of experience and expertise in leadership roles, and has a strong background in personal and professional development. This is an opinion column. The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of this publication.

Leave a Reply