Toxic culture in Edtech. We don’t need to name any organization but I am sure you have come across many posts articles and videos that speak volumes about the toxic culture.
What is toxic culture?
Toxicity at workplace is characterised by set of nasty behaviours that don’t contribute to psychological safety, security and overall mental and physical wellbeing.
What are these nasty behaviours?
Disrespect, unnecessary workaholism, unhealthy politics, unhealthy recurring conflicts, etc. The list is endless but this should suffice for the sake of argument.
How we define behaviours?
Behaviours are natural/deliberate responses to situations/stimulus. Behaviour simply means how you chose to react to the happenings around you.
With that foundational knowledge let us try to understand what is happening in Edtech.
Edtech organisations are nothing but sales organizations. They have a tech core, software engineers who build the platform and educators who use that platform. And then there is an army of sales people who aggressively push the product/service to the masses.
At any given time sales employees outnumber the core employees by a ratio of 1:5 (for every one core employee, there are 5 sales employees, I am using conservative numbers, the ratio could be much higher)
Which makes any typical company in Edtech as a sales organization. The product/service is highly scalable so much so that for a 10x growth you might need only 2x core employee rise but a 5x rise in sales force.
Now just imagine, what kind of environment/situation a typical B2C sales employee faces in his/her routine?
Uncertain, dynamic, stressful, targets that always remain elusive, stretch goals, exhausting. These are all situations.
Then what are the resulting behaviours?
We have already discussed that. 🙂
So I believe it is not surprising that culture in most Edtech companies in characterised by toxicity. Only difference is that this toxicity is being reported more often.
Should we deduce that all sales organization are toxic? I don’t think so. It depends on the environment they function in.
OYO, Oracle , Insurance companies can be termed as sales organization because they have a small core and large sales functions.
Are they toxic? Do tell me in the comment section.