Unfortunately, despite increased awareness of this issue, toxic workplaces still exist today. This affects good people and good organizations as the results of a toxic workplace are lower productivity, more challenging client relationships, and difficulty in hiring and keeping talented, qualified staff around. These consequences of a toxic workplace can have a real impact not only on a company’s bottom line but also on its future success. On a day-to-day basis, the stress of a toxic working environment can even lead to increased employee illness, since stress has a huge impact on the human body. At best, even if your employees aren’t catching more colds and flu bugs because of the stress, you’re looking at employees that suffer from more fatigue and burnout, both of which make it hard to work and perform at the top level your company needs.
What is a Toxic Workplace Culture?
There has been a lot of research done on the toxic workplace and toxic work cultures. A toxic work environment is one where there is a negative impact on the viability of an organization and one that is actively destructive to its employees. A toxic worker behaves in ways that are harmful to a company, which includes its property and employees. Research done on toxic workplaces makes a distinction between an employee's personality and behavior. Behavior can be quantified, whereas personality is more amorphous. One key indicator of a toxic work environment is an abusive leader. If one leader is abusive, then there is likely a culture at work that tolerates abuse. This often means that abusive leadership is happening throughout the entire organization and traumatizing employees along the way.
Three Strategies to Prevent a Toxic Work Environment
Train employees and hold them accountable.
The first step of solving a toxic workplace is going back to the business’s “vision, mission, and core value statements.”. One of the issues is that very few businesses have implemented effective ways of teaching their core values and holding employees, particularly those in leadership roles, personally accountable. This leads to daily behaviors, especially from leaders, that are not in alignment with the organization’s mission statement. This often creates a “do as I say, but not as I do” culture. One solution to this issue is to provide education for self-awareness and self-management for your company’s leaders. Coupling these pieces of training with accountability will help align leadership’s self-interest with these new goals. It is necessary for there to be consequences to leaders if their behavior and performance don’t change to healthier methods of leading and relating. Otherwise, there is likely to be little change.
Create a culture of well-being and performance.
In addition to increased self-awareness and self-management on the part of your organization’s leadership, it would be a good idea to implement a “systemic methodology for creating a culture that focuses on well-being and performance” and includes a “social awareness and social management dimension.”. One way to do this is to have a way for employees to give feedback safely. This will allow toxic leaders and employees to be identified. Engaging with your workforce is one of the best defenses against a toxic culture because it allows for honest feedback, which creates awareness among the leadership about problem areas and people.
Link objectives to performance and results.
Next, your systemic methodology needs to tie healthy workplace objectives to employee performance and results. This includes leadership as well. This is where the rubber meets the road and where consequences for toxic behavior come into play. Create a behavior performance system with explicitly outlined roles, goals, and expectations. Conducting coaching sessions with the people organizing these systems will help you identify the toxic leaders and employees. Once identified, you can begin the process of eliminating them. Remember, we are talking about behavior, not personality, and specifically toxic behaviors that indicate a lack of respect towards the organization.
Biofunctional Health Solutions Can Help You with Your Toxic Workplace
Biofunctional Health Solutions has been helping businesses just like yours create a healthy working environment for more than a decade. Their team of dedicated staff is passionate about helping companies become healthier and more productive. They offer wellness fairs that will educate your employees about healthier behaviors in and out of the workplace. Try positive reinforcement with Biofunctional Health Solution’s wellness challenges. They also offer solutions for the physical side of a toxic workplace with ergonomic accessories and assessments. Get the help and support you need to create a healthy, more productive workplace! Contact Biofunctional Health Solutions today to get started on your journey to a workplace health solutions.
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