Employee Benefits Quotes McGuireWoods’ Daniel L. Peyton on Addressing Toxic Workplaces

September 14, 2023

An open and nonconfrontational environment for resolving conflicts that arise in the office can quickly become a healthy and constructive part of the culture of a workplace, McGuireWoods London office managing partner Daniel L. Peyton told Employee Benefits in a Sept. 12, 2023, story.

Toxic workplaces are common in UK businesses and can sap employees’ productivity, Employee Benefits reported. Peyton, an employment lawyer, said that formal HR processes give employees a forum to express their concerns but may not be the most appropriate way to handle instances of toxic behavior. Instead, offering conflict resolution and workplace mediation training to managers can keep problems from infecting the wider culture of a workplace.

“By their nature, such formal processes are intended to have an outcome with ‘winners’ and ‘losers,’ ” Peyton said. “These processes may be an effective way for employers to manage the potential legal risks that arise from workplace difficulties, but they are rarely helpful in resolving the underlying relationship problems.”