Working in high-pressure environments means aiming for growth. But such severe conditions decrease employee morale, poisoning the well.

Based on a research of 1.4 million evaluations on the job and recruitment website Glassdoor, poisonous workplace culture was the leading cause of resignations last year. With its hyper-competitive work environment and continuous crippling from management and coworkers, the cut-throat culture was the main factor of this toxicity. Johnny C. Taylor Jr., president and CEO of the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) in Washington, DC, says that these workplace cultures create internal competition among employees from the start. It begins at the top and passes down to middle management to lower-level employees. Competitive organizations use long hours, constant networking, and other methods to encourage employees to outperform their colleagues. Moreover, a recent poll of more than 16,000 business leaders from 650 multinational businesses by corporate culture research firm CultureX discovered that political connections influenced promotions more than teamwork. It implies that a cut-throat culture still exists.

Winning at any cost creates a toxic environment that forces employees to resign. Taylor suggests establishing “guardrails” to keep a competitive culture in check and promote healthy competition. “There should be an agreement that no individual can win at the cost to their colleagues or organization.”