An interesting article in today’s Human Capital magazine highlights the impact of toxic corporate cultures, particularly for women. In an earlier post Increasing motivation and performance I presented some of the work of Amabile & Kramer, which gives some interesting insight into motivation. One of the key findings from their research was on the impact of toxins on motivation and performance.

Fundamentally, organisations don’t spend enough time nourishing workers, which means showing them respect, giving encouragement, providing emotional support and providing opportunities for affiliation. Toxins, in contrast, are interpersonal events that undermine people doing their work.

Nourishers support the person. They are a significant contributor to building a positive inner work life for employees, which in the Amabile & Kramer research distinguished clearly between high performing individuals and organisations.

The research reported by Human Capital reinforces the differential attention that women face when they operate in male dominated domains. Managers need to pay attention to their different needs and ensure that they are given nourishers and toxins are minimised.


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